Aberdeen oil and gas jobs top cross-sector pay rates

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Limited company contractors in the oil and gas sector are well placed to bring in some of the highest pay rates in the UK, new research suggests.

A study by S1Jobs - a recruitment platform in Scotland - showed that salaries in the industry are rising at a time when other jobs are experiencing wage stagnation. Indeed, half of the ten best paid positions advertised by the company over the past year were Aberdeen-based oil and gas positions.

According to S1Jobs, the gap between pay rates in the sector and others is widening, including the banking sector, which is still struggling to recover from the financial crash.

Head of sales at S1Jobs, Gavin Mochan, said: "High salaries in oil and gas are no surprise, but we are definitely seeing evidence the salary gap between the sector and other industries is widening. The finance industry in particular has been through several crises, which has led to more transparent remuneration packages, lower than inflation pay rises and even frozen salaries in many organisations.

"Meanwhile in Aberdeen the oil and gas sector seems to go from strength to strength with salaries increasing at the same rate as before the recession, which also has a knock-on effect to other sectors in the city."

However, experts claim that the skills shortage is behind the current pay rates. Indeed, a shortage of talent in the oil and gas sector means businesses need to offer higher salaries to attract the talent it needs.

Nevertheless, this is good news for contractors, who are facing an abundance of opportunities and improved pay.

Yet, there is no room for complacency and PwC has warned that the continued success of the sector is dependent on the UK's ability to extend the life of the North Sea.

According to 'Northern lights: One vision, one strategy', the industry needs to reduce costs by billions of pounds to remain competitive, while improving production levels.

Currently, production is declining, while decommissioning is putting pressure on the sector and expenditure is rising.

PwC claims that this is creating uncertainty in the North Sea, which could threaten its future.

Already there have been project delays and postponements, in addition to falling exploration levels.

To overcome this and ensure employment remains robust, PwC believes political and fiscal certainty must be created, alongside new business models and solutions.

What's more, oil and gas companies must define how costs can be lowered and performance improved, while supporting technological advances.

Kevin Reynard, Aberdeen office senior partner at PwC, explained in the report: "By collaborating under one cohesive vision to develop vital skills, innovation, infrastructure and technology, we have an unprecedented opportunity to build a thriving future."

Seizing this opportunity will be crucial for the North Sea and keeping the UK oil and gas industry competitive.

However, the skills shortage needs to be addressed if success is to be sustainable. In the meantime, PwC recommends outsourcing less critical, non-core functions away from Aberdeen and finding new ways of working with the same number of people.

By Victoria McDonnell

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