The UK’s offshore oil and gas workforce is getting younger, new figures show.
According to industry body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), the average age of workers on North Sea oil and gas installations fell slightly last year.
In 2012, the typical employee was aged just over 41.
In its latest demographics report about the sector, OGUK says they were nearly four months younger on average last year – helping to dispel the common view that the offshore population is ageing.
The 24-29 age group had the highest percentage growth in 2013, nearly 15%, with the number of 18 to 29-year-olds rising at a fast pace since 2006.
OGUK’s report also reveals that the size of the offshore workforce grew by 8.6% last year, to 61,892 people, as oil and gas firms ramped up their activities in the North Sea.
Alix Thom, the organisation’s employment and skills issues manager, said the changing age profile of the workforce was good news.
But it was tempered by an 8% fall in production and a slight drop in the proportion of women in the workforce.
Ms Thom said: “Women now comprise 3.6% of the total offshore population, representing a decrease of almost 0.2% since 2012.
“Given the current level of demand for skilled employees and the high level of activity on the UK continental shelf, it is in the industry’s interest to increase its focus on tackling this lack of gender diversity.
“It represents a significant but not fully utilised pool of talent.”
The report’s key findings include:
o The average age of those travelling offshore in 2013 was 40.8 years. This was down from 41.1 years in 2012.
o A total of 2,237 women made up 3.6% of the total offshore population last year, a decrease of nearly 0.2% from 2012.
o There was a 14.7% rise in the number of under 30s and a 9% increase in people aged 60-65 travelling offshore in 2013.
o A total of 61,892 people went offshore last year, an 8.6% increase on 2012.