AGCC Survey Shows Nearly All O&G Contractors Plan to Recruit Next Year

A record number of contractors in the oil and gas sector (98 percent) are looking to recruit in the next 12 months and confidence in the industry is high for 2014, according to the 19th Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce Oil and Gas Survey published Thursday.

However, the findings reveal that the industry’s growth is being constrained by skills shortages in key areas, and companies are being frustrated by a lack of information on the potential impact of a vote for Scottish independence.

The 19th Oil and Gas Survey, conducted by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by law firm Bond Dickinson, reveals a positive outlook for the sector. The report shows that 58 percent of operators and 65 percent of contractors increased their headcount in the past year, and average pay increased by 6.5 percent for operators and 4.8 percent for contractors, well above the national average.

This positive trend looks set to continue, with three in four contractors (73 percent) and half of operators (50 percent) anticipating an increase in their total number of employees next year, with a particularly strong demand for permanent staff.

However, most companies report recruitment and retention difficulties, with contractors facing their most significant difficulties since 2007. Three in four operators (75 percent) and two thirds of contractors (68 percent) say they are suffering from recruitment difficulties.

The Scottish referendum on independence is a key issue governing the future of the industry. The report reveals that executives in the high-growth oil and gas sector feel they have a lack of clarity on issues such as tax (both personal and corporate), regulatory issues and the position of Scotland in the EU should the referendum result in independence. They say this lack of information is hampering their ability to establish business plans beyond 2014.

Kenny Paton, oil and gas partner at Bond Dickinson, said: “More and more of our clients in oil and gas and other sectors are raising questions about the implications of the result of the referendum, and this report provides more evidence that oil and gas businesses are concerned about the lack of information. The main concerns that we are being approached about involve personal and corporate tax issues and fiscal policies, but a yes vote could impact companies in a number of ways that they need to factor in to their business planning.”


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