Oil and gas engineers contracting as Umbrella Company Employees in the North Sea oil industry are set for a lucrative year in 2014, which will see a jobs bonanza and bumper pay rises.

The latest annual review from oilandgaspeople.com forecasts that North Sea oil will continue its unprecedented growth this year. Sampling the views of over 10,000 North Sea oil and gas professionals, the review found that over two-thirds (69%) are confident about the future of the industry.

The study predicts that an additional 20,000 jobs and contracting assignments will be created in the industry this year. 2013 delivered significant pay increases for 68% of those polled; 29% gained rises of 5%, and 27% gained hikes three to four times higher than the inflation rate. 29% received astronomical pay increases of between 20% and 30%, pushing the average annual income up from £73,600 to £80,960 in 12 months.

Respondents were also confident that pay will continue to rise in 2014, with 83% anticipating increases of between 5% and 10% – up to four times more than the current inflation rate.

The pay rises appear to be driven by skills shortages and keen competition for skilled workers, especially from the Middle East, with emerging oil and gas fields in Africa also attracting sought-after staff.

Kevin Forbes, oilandgaspeople.com’s CEO, said that the only way the North Sea oil industry could retain talent was to increase wages or invest more in training a new generation of skilled oil and gas workers.

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