Skills Shortage Boosts Oil Industry Wages

Skills Shortage Boosts Oil Industry Wages

A survey of more than 900 Oil and Gas companies has revealed that they are concerned that the average wage in the industry will rise 15% this year from £64,000 to £73,600.

The survey, undertaken by, the world’s leading Oil and Gas jobs board, found that 70% of oil and gas companies were worried that wages were rising too fast.

The survey also found that all the respondents blamed a skills shortage in the industry for pressure on wages.

Another study by of more than 5,000 oil and gas workers found that terms and conditions are improving as well, with 10% receiving higher pensions, 7% more holiday and 21% more flexible working hours. Yet the vast majority, 61%, had received higher wages in the last few months.

The survey of oil and gas companies found they blamed different reasons for the skills shortage, with 32% suggesting it has been caused by too little investment in apprenticeships due to an assumption that North Sea Oil was in decline. 11% suggested that industry did not expect the success of new technology to pump low-grade oil, so recent growth and investment was unexpected, while 44% suggested the skills shortage in the UK had been caused by growing demand for UK staff to work abroad.

Kevin Forbes, CEO of, commented: “Lack of Supply and increased demand for qualified staff is putting huge inflationary pressure on wages in the oil and gas industry, with industry already seeing big rises in the first quarter of 2013,” he said.

“Terms and conditions are increasing at the same time as UK oil and gas companies try to compete for a dwindling number of skilled staff. The companies are right to pinpoint the dual impact of historic lack of training and pressure from well-paid jobs abroad.

“With the record investment in North Sea Oil in the last few months, this pressure on wages and skilled staff does not look likely to end any time soon. But there is a solution. The Government needs to step in and incentivise companies to invest more in people urgently,” Kevin Forbes said.

“So many people want to get into the industry but there is very little out there in the way of guidance in how to go about that. A lot more needs to be done and now is the time for the industry and government to take action,” he said.

“There is a lot of press around North Sea Oil being in decline, but the truth is there is still 30 – 40 years left in the North Sea and that estimate increases all the time as new fields are discovered and come online. Anyone looking to get into the industry now will enjoy a career that will last their lifetime easily,” he said.


Press Release, March 15, 2013; Image: Rialto Energy