Oil, Gas Industry Facing Skills Gap

Oil, Gas Industry Facing Skills Gap
The sector will face a skills gap if it doesn't use technology to try and retain young people in the workplace.

The oil and gas industry will face a skills gap if it doesn’t use technology to try and retain young people in the workplace, according to millennials expert Ryan Jenkins.

“The tools available to millennials at work must be as digitally native and mobile friendly as they are,” Jenkins told Rigzone.

“The effortless and seamless technological experiences millennials have routinely encountered throughout their lives has become the new lens of expectations they carry into every workplace,” he added.

There is a lot of opportunity for technology to make training in the oil and gas industry more impactful and effortless, Jenkins suggests.

“Many millennials enter the workplace and wonder why there isn’t a search engine (such as YouTube) that houses solutions/tutorials to many of the questions that may come up on the job,” he said.

Jenkins also revealed that many millennials are using Slack to create more dynamic workplace communications, and technology like 15five.com and TinyPulse is shaking up the annual review process and how employees give and receive feedback.

The millennials expert also warned the sector to expect more virtual reality to enter the workplace, as a quarter of Generation Z and millennials want their companies to adopt the technology.

Contrary to Jenkins’ view, a recent Rigzone poll on social media site Twitter suggested that the wider adoption of modern technology wasn’t the most important thing the oil and gas industry could do in order to attract more young talent.

The action was still ranked highly however, coming in second behind ‘additional graduate program investment’, with 21 percent of the vote.

In addition to technological issues, Jenkins said a number of other factors could lead to millennials jumping ship. These include development stagnation, promotion disparity and the entrepreneurial desire of this demographic.

Comments on Rigzone’s own website have even suggested that the ‘boom and bust’ nature of the oil and gas industry could put graduates off.

Furthermore, Jenkins highlighted the speed at which millennials can alter their careers in a short anecdote.

“I recently stated in a workshop, ‘If millennials aren’t happy or engaged at work, they can jump on LinkedIn and find a new job by lunchtime’,” Jenkins said. 

“Immediately following that statement a millennial in the crowd blurted out, ‘Why wait ‘till lunch!?’” he added.

Jenkins believes that previous generations learned to keep silent about the change they wanted, but millennials are vocalizing the changes they desire.

“Millennials [will] account for 50 percent of the global workforce by 2020,” Jenkins said.

“In order to contend in tomorrow’s talent war, organizations must rethink and re-engineer how to deliver a signature experience for its greatest asset; people,” he added.

It's an employee's market, so organizations must commit to transforming to entice and engage the emerging generations, according to Jenkins.

“Challenging the status quo is not only a fundamental mandate for all leaders, but it's now critical for companies and industries who want to remain relevant,” he said.

“More than ever before companies are having to be competitive for talent,” Jenkins added.


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Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
bob | Aug. 16, 2017
Comments on Rigzone’s own website have even suggested that the ‘boom and bust’ nature of the oil and gas industry could put graduates off. My grandson, who will be graduating form Oklahoma State in May, thought about following in my path and join the ranks of the oil field. I told him that the he not get any closer to the oil field them putting gas in his car. I have been at this for 37 years and was able to make it thru several boom and bust rides which is the very reason I advise anybody to stay away from this biz. If you dont mind being laid off every 3 to 5 years then come on in, it is something to consider. This industry has produced its own demise and ever so often we read articles like this, Rather then try and figure out how to bring new talent in how about figuring out how to keep what you have. Dont get me wrong I do like what I do but it has been testy at best and will advise young people to stay away.

Ben | Aug. 16, 2017
The majority of work happens in the field where it takes knowledge, judgment, and fortitude to get things done. Millenials are more computer literate than earlier generations, agreed, but it takes hands on work to be successful in the oil patch. Stop pandering to the millennials; the sky is not falling and HR doesnt need to panic. People are attracted to this industry because of the lifestyle, pay, and opportunities to travel and progress through hard work. Its not all doom and gloom. The myth has to be busted.

Rick | Aug. 15, 2017
A nice combination of the young and new getting hired would be nice. Then the older ones that are looking for a job could get one and could teach the younger ones. Invest in some training to bring older ones up to par on tech and old school for the young to teach a good work ethics.

Grey | Aug. 14, 2017
Its an employees market is this a valid statement in todays market? Has the oil industry created 2 kinds of technical assets: Those employed and highly valued (if the price is over $50/bbl, and those with skills and interest to work outside the gate?)

Thomas Bath | Aug. 14, 2017
Companies are continuing to layoff/early retire a large percentage of their experienced employees, as quickly as they can, even as prices rebound. They really dont have an interest in keeping experienced people or hire back experienced employees.

Amy | Aug. 14, 2017
Hop on Linked In and find a new job by lunchtime? Surely you are joking. Or at least you arent talking about support/admin staff. But articles like these only focus on the important people in oil and gas, never those of us who have to do the thankless clerical tasks, so I suppose I shouldnt be surprised.

Matthew C | Aug. 14, 2017
Millennials are not a thing. Its a desperate waste of energy to think that the things said of and about young people as early as the 1980s are somehow unique to anyone today. Moreover, a lazy generalisation about such a wide group of people (with no commonly accepted, to unifying definition) is just the worst kind of expertise. The habits, traits and everything else about Millennials differ wildly between those people said to be one. So Ill say it again - millennials do not exist.

Jim Graves | Aug. 11, 2017
Yes the Oil Patch needs to give the new Ms employees Golden Parachute pay outs $$$ like say one years salary when they get laid off in their first Oil Bust! Gee the CEOs, EVPs; VPs get those and make millions of dollars $$$ a year too so why not help out the grunts too since CEOs and rest get to keep their jobs when they lay off every one else?

Peter Wang | Aug. 11, 2017
Self-inflicted injuries decade after decade. This stopped being funny back in 1986.

Michael | Aug. 11, 2017
“Many millennials enter the workplace and wonder why there isn’t a search engine (such as YouTube) that houses solutions/tutorials to many of the questions that may come up on the job,” he said. because engineers are not paid to follow tutorials but to come up with solutions, engineer out these answers...


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