OPITO, RGU to develop new UK oil and gas skills strategy

A project to develop a new UK oil and gas skills strategy has been launched following industry and government support for OPITO’s UKCS Workforce Dynamics Review.

Director of the RGU Oil and Gas Institute, Professor Paul de Leeuw (left) and CEO of OPITO, John McDonald (right); Image source: OPITO

Global energy skills body OPITO said on Monday that it appointed Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Oil and Gas Institute to support the development of the strategy over the next six months.

This will involve an industry survey and workshops to help develop a blueprint to support skills diversification and digital transformation.

The Workforce Dynamics Review, launched in May, found that if the sector achieves ambitions around the energy transition, oil and gas production and exports, around 40,000 people will need to be recruited into the sector over the next 20 years and 10,000 of those will be in roles that don’t currently exist.

John McDonald, OPITO CEO, said: “We received overwhelming support for the findings in the Workforce Dynamics Review and the skills strategy development will now be the priority over the coming months. We want to be able to take swift and appropriate action to safeguard roles, up-skill the existing workforce and prepare the sector for emerging digital and data roles. We are extremely pleased that RGU’s Oil & Gas Institute will support this vital initiative to benefit the sector and are urging the industry to get involved.”

OPITO added that a targeted industry survey would be launched in the coming months to capture the industry’s demand for skills and capability requirements of the future. Industry workshops will be held with operators and the supply chain to tap into a diverse breadth of knowledge and expertise, including industry specialists, young professionals, and apprentices.

Paul de Leeuw, director of the RGU Oil and Gas Institute, said: “Building on the findings of the Workforce Dynamics Review, the need was identified to shape a Skills Strategy to support the delivery of Vision 2035 and to support the wider skills diversification requirements identified in the report.

“The Skills Strategy will specifically look at the changing requirements across the sector by 2025 and will identify what new skills will be required in the future to ensure the UK continues to have world-class capabilities to support the oil and gas industry and the wider energy sector.”