'Fewer' women working offshore

Wood group worker The report found a drop of almost 0.2% in the number of women working offshore last year

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The number of women working offshore in the oil and gas sector fell slightly last year, according to an industry body's report.

Oil & Gas UK found females made up 3.6% of the total offshore population, a fall of almost 0.2% from 2012.

Its Offshore Workforce Demographics Report also showed nearly 61,900 people travelled offshore last year - a rise of 8.6% on the previous year.

Workers in the 24-29 age group saw the highest growth at almost 14.7%.

There was a slight drop in the average age for an offshore worker.

Dr Alix Thom, from Oil & Gas UK, said: "The data in this year's report confirms that in 2006-2013 the largest increase in the offshore population was in the 18-29 age group.

"Their presence, and the fact that the average age of the total offshore workforce has dropped from 41.1 in 2012 to 40.8 in 2013, is helping to dispel the common misconception that the offshore population is ageing.

"However, this good news must be considered against the 8% reduction in production seen in 2013 and the fact that there has been a slight drop in the proportion of female employees relative to the total offshore population.

"Given the current level of demand for skilled employees, and the high level of activity on the UK Continental Shelf, it is in the industry's interest to increase its focus on tackling this lack of gender diversity as it represents a significant, but not fully utilised, pool of talent."

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