Workforce worries... (June 2014)

Mercer, AGI and API forecast wave of retirements and skills shortage in energy and geosciences.

Two reports see trouble ahead for the oil company workforce. An analysis by Mercer's energy consulting practice finds that a retirement wave and technical skills gap threatens oil and gas company growth while another report from the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) predicts a shortage of 135,000 geoscientists by 2030. The Mercer study predicts a loss of '50-80%' of the retirement-eligible workforce over the next five years. Half of the companies studied plan to 'poach' talent to fill the gap, an approach that Mercer's Philip Tenenbaum describes as, 'Simply not viable or sustainable' and advocates a strategic approach to talent management. Skills development is also required to balance another 'critical problem' of a widely reported technical skills gap.

The AGI predicts a shortage despite rising enrolment in geosciences education and recruitment, especially since oil and gas and professional societies have increased outreach to student members. Also, most of the geoscience workforce is within 15 years of retirement age.

The American Petroleum Institute is also concerned about the greying workforce and has launched a website to provide information on careers, training and certification.

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