Umbrella Company Employees and other independent professionals contracting in the UK’s oil and gas industry are seeing their pay rates climbing more steeply than any other energy sector, the latest quarterly report on jobs in the sector from the Aberdeen-based jobs board has found.

Contractors in the sector have seen average pay rates rise by 8% over the last year, taking their annual incomes from £73,600 to £79,488. The report also finds that pay rates for some of the most in-demand and specialist contractor roles have grown by more than 11% over the same period.

It seems, however, that something will have to give sooner or later: 70% of the companies polled said they were worried that pay was soaring too quickly and would shortly become unsustainable.

The report follows news that the oil and gas services giant Wood Group PSN is to slash its contractor pay rates by 10% from the beginning of June. The reason, the company announced, was to “control costs for clients” in a context where contractor rates have grown three times faster over the last five years than permanent staff rates.’s CEO, Kevin Forbes, said: “For the last two years we have seen contractor rates rise in the industry. Out latest quarterly report shows no slowing of this trend, with a combination of increased investment in North Sea oil and demand for qualified staff and contractors reaching an all-time high. This will exacerbate an already serious skills shortage, a problem that is becoming worse as training for new staff is not keeping up with demand.”

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