Every industry sector experiences peaks and troughs. It’s natural for conditions to ebb and flow as markets change.
Oil and gas is a particularly volatile sector. It’s a big part of the culture and fabric of Aberdeen and is at the heart of the city – but according to some reports, it’s experiencing a significant slowdown.
Industry body Oil & Gas UK recently revealed that falling oil prices and rising costs meant the sector spent and invested £5.3billion more than it earned from sales during 2014.
With the price of crude oil now below $50 a barrel, it seems oil and gas companies are reining in spending. The price decline is understandably affecting the way businesses operate and how they invest, and is beginning to impact upon those currently working in the industry.
For many, the motivation for getting into the oil and gas industry has centred on the likelihood of increased opportunities and better salaries. The sector is entering a slowdown at the moment and will no doubt pick up. But some people are starting to think “is this going to happen again?” and are taking steps to move into alternative industry sectors.
Since the start of 2015, we’ve started to receive CVs from people in the industry looking for a change – skilled workers at various stages in their oil and gas career who are keen to migrate over to another industry before the slowdown takes hold.
Construction is an industry that’s a natural progression for these workers. People working in oil and gas have skills that are fantastically transferable and are ideally suited to the construction sector. As a recruitment specialist, Search Consultancy helps candidates identify exactly what their skills are and considers how they can match them to alternative roles.
For people looking to move sector entirely, our job is to look at the bigger picture and to consider how the industries map on to each other. There are significant links between oil and gas and construction in terms of skills required.
There’s a golden opportunity in construction on our doorstep in Aberdeen at the moment. Work on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route has already started. The project, set to create 1,500 construction jobs and more than 100 apprenticeships over the next five years, presents a chance for construction to flourish in Aberdeen. The work will provide years of security for companies and their employees.
There are people out there with the right skills to get these jobs done. It’s a massive opportunity for the city and I believe that there’s great potential here to attract workers who started out with the skills in construction and drifted to oil and gas – and who are now up for change.
Aberdeen has formed its own microcosm in terms of industry. Oil and gas is such a prominent feature and will continue to be at the forefront of business in the city. But construction is also on the up – it’s time for people to consider this industry too, as it has the foundations to build a great future.
By Andrew Stephen, construction director at Search Consultancy