A new report published by industry trade body Oil & Gas UK reveals that by the end of this year, more than 120,000 jobs will have been lost in the UK’s offshore sector since 2014.
According to the report, jobs fell by an estimated 84,000 in 2015, and are on course to fall a further 40,000 by the end of 2016.
330,000 jobs is still a significant number, but the total employment we will sustainably provide depends on the level of investment attracted into the basin. If investment falls, then so will jobs
Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK
The crisis has largely been blamed on plummeting oil prices, which peaked in 2014 at over $100 per barrel, but which fell to below $30 per barrel at the start of this year.
“We cannot underestimate the impact the global downturn in the industry is having on the UK economy, nor the personal toll for those who have lost their jobs, and the effect on their families and colleagues,” said Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK.
According to Michie, the offshore industry has been spending more than it is earning since the price of oil slumped towards the end of 2014, which, she said, is not sustainable.
“To survive, the industry has had no choice but to improve its performance,” Michie added.
Michie said members of the oil and gas industry would join forces at Oil & Gas UK’s annual conference next week to manage its way through the downturn and protect the 330,000 jobs that it still supports.
“330,000 jobs is still a significant number, but the total employment we will sustainably provide depends on the level of investment attracted into the basin. If investment falls, then so will jobs.”
Michie added that interventions the oil and gas industry makes now would be critical in shaping the direction of the sector, and that it could help stem future job losses.
“Everyone in the sector can play a part. Effective workforce engagement is vital onshore and offshore, as is greater cooperation – within teams, within companies, across the industry and with the regulators and governments.”
Forty one percent of the 141 companies quizzed in that survey suggest young people will not see the sector as a viable career option, which would create a skills gap that would be further exacerbated by the cyclical nature of the industry
According to the bank's report, roughly two-fifths of all future job cuts will be made in Scotland.
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