Report reveals top regions for energy job growth

HOUSTON –Hiring in the oil and gas industry rose globally in the first quarter of 2014, led by Africa, Russia and North America, according to the Hays Oil & Gas Job Index.

However, the report came with a caveat: A shortage of key skills in the general workforce continues to threaten the industry’s growth, as new projects and business investments demand higher headcounts.

The quarterly job index is based on the number of open positions posted on nine oil and gas job portals worldwide. Hays did not report those job counts, but folded them into a single index number that was set at 1 in October 2010 and rose to 1.65 in the first quarter of 2014.

“Investment in businesses and new technologies to support enhanced oil recovery is driving new projects. As a result, optimism is high and we expect to see further growth in 2014,” said John Faraguna, global managing director of Hays Oil & Gas in a written statement. However, he added, “employers may struggle to find the talent needed and be forced to fight it out with other companies for these sought after profiles.”

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Hays projects the strong job growth seen in the United States will continue in the second and third quarters. Canada also experienced a boost in the first quarter, the firm noted, driven by investment in highly technical employees could help grow production.

Pipeline construction and other energy investments are driving oil and gas hiring in Russia and the nation’s new deal to supply natural gas to China will further boost the job market, Hays projects.

Meanwhile, Europe experienced the lowest number of first-quarter job vacancies in at least three years, Hays reported.

“Europe faces a brain drain as employees are attracted to other regions by lucrative salaries and expat packages,” the report noted.

South America could be a destination, where planned investments for later this year are expected to boost oil and gas activity and increase the number of job vacancies. Hays said companies at work in South America are looking to increase salaries in order to attract top workers.

Asia also is a growth region, driven by rapidly rising demand for energy, particularly in Singapore, South Korea and China. Africa will continue to be a destination, as well, despite efforts to secure more local workers, Hays wrote.

“There has been a push to source local talent ahead of foreign candidates, however, with a limited amount of local talent to choose from the region still has to rely heavily on European workers to fill those roles,” the report notes. “Nationals from the region of Africa often seek rewarding careers elsewhere and may be unwilling to return to the region for employment.”

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