Offshore workforce 'not ageing'

Image caption, The report found that more people are travelling offshore for work than at any other time

The average age of an offshore worker is 40 - the lowest since the industry body began compiling data four years ago, it has emerged.

Oil and Gas UK said the report should dispel the notion that there was an ageing workforce in the North Sea.

The 2009 figures from Oil and Gas UK also showed 51,116 people were travelling offshore for work - a 1% increase on the previous year.

Those spending more than 100 nights offshore increased by 13.4%.

Oil and Gas UK's health, safety and employment issues director, Robert Paterson, said the findings were very positive.

He said: "It's encouraging to see evidence of not only the youngest recorded average age of offshore workers, but more and more young people under the age of 30 taking up important skilled jobs in key areas of the offshore industry.

"I think we can now put the myth to bed that the North Sea and wider UK Continental Shelf has an ageing workforce.

"Not only that, but it's exciting to see more people working offshore than in previous years - something which clearly shows that the UK oil and gas industry is buoyant.

"The North Sea may be a 'mature basin', but anyone who thinks that operations are winding up and coming to an end is mistaken."

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