The Skills Gap & How to Manage It

In our 2016 Industry survey we asked for views on the skills needed for success in oil and gas. As well as collecting your responses, we looked over a series of industry reports on the skills gap and other HR issues in oil and gas, several pre-dating the oil price collapse.  Read our full  paper here

Three themes consistently crop up:

  • There’s a perceived lack of leadership skills, an issue first identified nearly 10 years ago
  • The Great Crew Change, also identified years ago, brings with it generational clashes as Millennials enter leadership positions
  • Innovation is essential. There’s a risk to the industry with a lack of technology and digital expertise in particular

Oil and Gas featuredAs well as our own survey, we have looked at reports from experts such as Schlumberger, Bain Consulting, Deloittes, PwC, The Energy Institute, DNV GL, Russell Reynolds and others to develop an overall picture of the issue. Although many of these studies were done before 2014, the 2016 Bloomberg Job Skills survey reiterated the lack of leadership skills in Energy, highlighting it as something that employers need but is hard to find.

How serious is this skills gap? Has the downturn eased the pressure on finding leadership talent for the next decade, or will the shortages predicted back in 2012 and 2013 return as soon as the recovery begins? We’d love to hear your views – please comment below.


  1. Zahir Irani says:

    I agree with the need to promote innovation but many organisations and I suspect more so in Oil and Gas (due to the down turn) need to foster a culture of innovation rather than being dependent on single of multiple points of innovation – I don’t advocate the ‘Steve Jobs is Apple’ approach as when the innovator moves on or up, it leave a big void that is very hard to fill. Innovation should be everyones business, whether service innovation, product innovation – it really doesn’t matter. Oil and Gas has significant challenges ahead, with less capital for investment, hard problems need smart minds. I advocate evaluating innovative ideas around their Feasibility, Cost and Contribution.

    We are only as strong as our weakest link so, strengthen that link!

    Professor Zahir Irani (Brunel University London) – @ZahirIrani1

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