Umbrella Company Employees contracting in oil and gas engineering can expect to be headhunted and richly remunerated for their talents in 2014, according to new research from leading industry technical advisor DNV GL.

88% of the oil and gas professionals polled in the new study are confident about the outlook for their industry in 2014; however, 47% believe that growth could be significantly impeded by skill shortages.

It is this concern that is driving up pay rates to extraordinary levels in some key areas, the report reveals. In areas where shortage of technical expertise is especially acute, respondents declared that they were prepared to pay an unprecedented median daily rate of US$1,000 (over £600) to contractors.

The survey gathered input from 430 professionals in the oil and gas industry and involved in-depth interviews with over 20 senior executives.

Elisabeth Tørstad, the CEO of DNV GL Oil and Gas, said that the industry is now moving into environments that demand deep technical expertise; however, companies are struggling with a continuing skills shortage. Technology, she argued, could only go so far in plugging this gap; ultimately, human talent is indispensable.

Ms Tørstad believes an innovative approach to recruitment will help. The skills needed to construct a hospital or a space shuttle are “not necessarily so dissimilar”, she argues, to constructing an oil platform. She added: “We will have a talent squeeze if we seek to duplicate the people in the industry today, but not if we are able to utilise the wider talent pool available to us.”

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