UK Subsea Industry in Need of Employees

The industry body which represents over 250 companies across the UK has revealed that 10,000 jobs could be created in the sector in the next 12 months.

Following a survey, Subsea UK has found that almost one fifth of its membership will need over 2,000 people in the next 12 months to cope with the growth in the industry. The 43 companies who responded to the survey are already seeking to fill 800 vacancies.

Subsea UK, chief executive, Neil Gordon, said: “The respondents to the survey represent a cross section of the supply chain so we can assume that if one fifth need 2,000 people, there are potentially 10,000 new jobs across the sector.

“With the UK economy still fairly fragile, it is fantastic that our industry, which is out-performing other sectors and helping lead the country's economic recovery, is creating so many new jobs. The challenge for us is finding suitably qualified people to meet immediate demand and attracting new people into the industry to fulfil future demand.”

The British subsea industry which generates £6billion in revenues and already supports around 50,000 jobs is expected to grow by 40% in the next two years, capturing over a third of the current global subsea oil and gas market worth £20billion.

Over 50% of survey respondents said that recruiting suitably qualified people was very difficult with 14% believing it was almost impossible. Recruiting semi-qualified people is slightly easier but 45% still believe it is difficult.

Engineers, project managers and technicians are the most sought after positions with ROV (remotely operated vehicle) operators and sales and marketing positions also in demand.

Extracting the remaining world’s reserves will increasingly fall to the subsea industry – already almost 45% of UKCS production comes from subsea wells with new developments soon to take this up to 70%. Subsea is therefore of vital importance to the security of the world’s energy supply.

Approximately one third of the total revenues generated by the sector is centred on manufacturing and an impressive £3.3 billion (56%) is directly attributed to export sales.

Mr Gordon added: “Much of the growth has been driven by exports which are increasingly important to the health of the sector. While the manufacture of technology and equipment represents around half, we are also strong in the export of our skills, knowledge and expertise.

“This industry, which was born and has grown up in the North Sea is no longer dependent on this mature province. To capitalise on the increasing global demand, now is the time to robustly promote the sector at home and abroad. If the UK is to continue to dominate globally, we need Government to acknowledge the importance of the sector and support us in our drive to develop the new technologies the industry needs to recover the remaining reserves and to help us attract new talent, particularly young people into the sector to meet the skills gaps.”

Subsea UK is leading a 90-strong delegation to Westminster today (27 June 2012) to promote the industry’s messages to politicians and secure support for its long-term future. The delegation heading to Westminster includes Aker Solutions, Bibby Offshore, BP, Centrica, First Subsea, FUGRO Subsea, GE Wellstream, Subsea 7 and Total.


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