The energy industry is witnessing an accelerating rate of talent transfer from traditional energy roles into renewables. A new study conducted by Robert Gordon University (RGU) revealed that over 90% of oil and gas personnel have medium to high skills transferability. This puts them in a strong position to work within related energy sectors such as offshore wind, hydrogen fuel, and carbon capture technology. Airswift’s recent 2022 Global Energy Index found out that 86 percent of energy professionals would consider relocating abroad in the next three years while more than four-in-five would consider switching to another energy sector, with the Renewable Energy sector being the most popular choice due to the many opportunities in place. However, why is this happening and how viable is the transferability of skills between these industries?
Some of these opportunities include an increase in pay rise.
40% of professionals reported an increase in their salary in the past year after taking the decision to switch to sustainable job. Many skills are overlapping in these industries, especially engineering and leadership, which are abundantly available in the experienced oil and gas workforce. Other transferrable skills include stakeholder engagement, strategy execution, project manager, engineering, construction, finance and operations; and soft skills such as social and emotional intelligence and leadership.
According to the Airswift Survey, the most important skills for a future-proof energy workforce are technical and Behavioural skills. 45 % of hiring managers also believe that cyber security is the most important digital skill for new hires from other sectors alongside robotics and AI. The digitalisation of legacy systems during the pandemic has opened the sector up to new threats and driven rising demand for cyber skills. Other skills looked for outside the energy industry for engineers include commercial awareness.
Why are oil and gas professional seeking to switch to other sectors?
Even though the Oil and Gas industry is no stranger to volatilities, the mix of the pandemic and the war has created more uncertainty in global economies, in addition, no strong alternatives were put in place for workers who had to get used to sustained hard periods in hope that the industry stabilizes again. Now, Renewable Energy is said to be growing more than ever. Price drops enabled by new technologies result in more widespread coverage and increase in users for wind, solar and other forms of green energy. At the same time, while CNN is reporting that 107 thousand jobs in the Oil and Gas industry were lost and may never come back.
Energy Industry Overview
The energy transitions and efforts to decarbonise energy are the prevailing trend reshaping global energy employment. Countries representing over 70% of global emissions today have committed to net zero emissions targets by mid-century, which will create millions of new clean energy jobs around the world. Energy employs 65 million people worldwide and accounts for 2% of global employment, relatively evenly distributed across fuel supply, power sector, and end uses. Asia is home to energy’s largest and fastest-growing workforce, driven by rapidly expanding energy infrastructure and a significant share of global clean energy manufacturing capacity. In recent years, the share of energy employment related to clean energy technologies has grown steadily and has proven resilient through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Keeping in mind the growth of the market, the transferability of skills and the different skills required all around in the energy industry, it is important to make yourself as visible as possible, particularly in areas where there is a high concentration of renewable energy candidates.