Oil and gas 'jobs boom' forecast for North Sea
A new forecast for the UK's oil and gas industry has suggested a "boom" this year in offshore jobs as North Sea oil continues to experience growth.
Oilandgaspeople.com, a recruitment firm specialising in the energy sector, has said that between 40,000 and 50,000 new jobs could be created.
It also predicted the onset of shale gas exploration would boost prospects.
However, the firm warned of continuing skill shortages with a rise in the need for qualified and experienced staff.
The recruitment company's annual review of the oil and gas sector analysed the impact of the record breaking 27th licensing round which saw the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) award 167 new licences on more than 300 North Sea blocks in October 2012.
Kevin Forbes, from Oilandgaspeople.com, said: "Our forecast shows that with increased investment in North Sea Oil, demand for qualified staff is set to reach an all time high, which will exacerbate an already serious skills shortage, a problem that is being further exacerbated as UK candidates head abroad to earn even higher wages with a huge demand for qualified expats globally.
"In the last few months alone in the UK Stat Oil announced a £4.3bn investment into North Sea Oil creating over 700 jobs, a £1bn project to develop the Harris and Barra oilfields was announced, as well as another £1bn investment by joint venture Canadian-based Talisman Energy and Chinese Company Sinopec.
"Large projects backed by BP West of Shetland are already under way and Total's new Terminal project in Shetland is in full swing.
He added: "There are too many new projects to mention and from our own industry knowledge we expect more big announcements in 2013."