Energy consumption is on the rise, and it is predicted to grow by 56% by 2040. Therefore, the oil & gas and power industries must find people with the right skills to support this growth.

However, relatively few students are opting to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, despite the fact that the U.S. Department of Education predicts a 14% increase in STEM jobs between 2010 and 2020.

Our industry is facing a talent crisis – one of epic proportions.

The bottom will come in the next 5-10 years when half of all the experienced engineers in our industry will be eligible to retire.  If the trends continue, there will not be enough graduates to replace them.

The problem is not limited to just engineers.  Fracking, shale, and oil sands extraction – once considered alternative approaches – are now commonplace methods used to meet energy demands.  In fact, the Energy Information Administration predicts that the production of gas from shale will increase 44% by 2040.  In the U.S., the goal is self-sufficiency, and a host of new technologies have been developed for exploration, extraction, and refining to meet this goal. However, new technologies require new skills, and domestic oil & gas and power companies alike struggle to find enough highly skilled workers to meet their employment needs.

There is no quick fix to addressing the skills shortage and the question remains: who has the responsibility to fix the problem in the first place? The energy sector? The American educational system?  Depending on who you ask, the answer varies.

However, our industry knows that finger pointing can wait. Oil & gas and power employers are working with educational establishments and institutions to educate students about the amazing careers available working as an engineer in the energy industry. The Educate to Innovate initiative encourages students to excel in the highly paid and highly rewarding STEM careers and is boosting teacher numbers and investment.

This is our investment in the future, our investment to rewrite future trends. Today recruitment is the key.  Sourcing the top performers with the right skills is of paramount importance.  Innovative companies are looking beyond their direct competitors and are recruiting and training workers from other heavy industries and from the military.

For example, structural engineers and electrical engineers from the shipbuilding or infrastructure industries are being heavily recruited due to similar skill sets that translate extremely well.

But recruitment is only part of the solution.  When you have the skilled workers you need, hang onto them.  Employee retention strategies – including attractive benefits packages – are must-haves in order to attract and retain the best and the brightest.

At SCR , we can help you find the experienced energy sector talent you need.  We supply talent throughout the world, and we can find you the people you need for your organization or your next project.  Contact us today!

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