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World – Oil & Gas contractor numbers set to rise

17 February 2014

The considerable growth and investment in the global energy and natural resources market has opened up opportunities for skilled talent to consider overseas assignments, according to the ‘Mobilisation and its impact on the global Oil & Gas market’ report from recruitment specialists Progressive GE, released today.

Of the oil & gas workers surveyed across the Americas, Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East, there was an almost 50/50 split between contractors and permanent staff. Nearly a third (29%) of all oil & gas contractors worked in Asia Pacific, compared with only 20% of permanent employees. South America was home to the most permanent employees (21%), but was also the region with the fewest contractors (6%).

The difference between contractors and permanent employees is also apparent when comparing their work locations. Contractors are more likely to accept work outside their country of origin than permanent employees, 47% compared with 38%. Contractors are also more likely to have greater work experience than their permanent counterparts, with 62% of contractors having more than 10 years’ experience, compared with only 40% of permanent employees.

According to Progressive GE’s research, many permanent employees are looking to move towards self-employed contracts as demand for contractors grows. Increasing skills gaps and rising contractor salaries are enticing many employees away from the security of a permanent contract to the more lucrative contractor role.  

The mass exodus of permanent employees to contractor status is only one contributing factor to the worsening skills and knowledge gaps within the oil & gas industry, which have persisted since the 1980s. The pending retirement of a generation of industry workers combined with a significant reduction in the number of students studying oil & gas related subjects will further increase pressure on oil & gas companies and recruitment firms trying to source candidates.    

To read the full report, please click here

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