Skills Shortage Set to Affect Marine Industries

Skills shortages are not confined to the offshore sector. Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce.

Industrial growth is warmly welcomed worldwide. It ensures the future of countries, market sectors, companies and employees. Unfortunately however, it brings its own set of problems. Problems that the marine construction and offshore engineering sector is now being forced to face. A serious skills shortage is hitting the market. 'The industry is extremely busy and expected to remain so for a number of years, said Hugh Williams, chief executive of the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). 'Many companies are experiencing significant challenges in recruiting sufficient trained and skilled personnel for their projects all over the world. This is placing significant pressure on their desired growth and ability to deliver services.' 

IMCA, as the international trade association representing over 350 offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies, in well over 40 countries, is eager to help its members address this skills shortage. One route is to draw wider attention to the projected numbers of trained personnel required by the expanding marine contracting industry over the next two to three years.

Hugh Williams added, 'IMCA members have provided some practical estimates of the possible growth of their businesses.  For example, orders for new build construction vessels, drilling rigs, saturation diving spreads and ROVs.

From these estimates we can extrapolate some of the marine contracting industry's recruitment needs. 'That there is a skills shortage is widely acknowledged. By providing firm, verifiable estimates of anticipated growth, we are highlighting the seriousness and complexity of the challenge faced, not only by IMCA members worldwide, but also by all stakeholders in the offshore oil industry.

Indeed, the future health and growth of a number of industries, not just in the oil and gas industry, may be directly affected by a shortage of trained personnel in the coming years.' IMCA encourages raising the profile of the offshore industry in the employment market, including a focus on cross-training personnel from other industries who may already have many of the skills necessary for offshore work.

The Association believes that it is important to establish relationships with schools, colleges and universities to promote science and engineering as interesting courses leading to challenging and worthwhile careers.

MJ Information No: 22708

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