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Energy meeting with Matt Dawson

Energy & Resources

Understanding the offshore workforce

Offshore workforce demographics are changing at a very fast pace. As an industry, it is essential we work together to address these changes and create an environment for a sustainable workforce. The Oil & Gas Authority’s Vision 2035 formed the backbone of our discussions at a breakfast meeting we hosted last month for senior leaders from the oil and gas industry.

By Susan Elston, senior vice president, UK Offshore & Marine, Sodexo Energy & Resources

More than 50 senior executives from leading oil and gas companies including BP, Chrysaor, Engie and Premier Oil, joined Sodexo senior leaders from around the world, at Aberdeen’s Chester Hotel.

Understanding workforce demographics is a fundamental component of delivering services that positively impact a person’s quality of life when working offshore.  For the past five years, we have been looking at the profile of their offshore customers through our global consumer survey, which brings to light their needs and expectations in terms of improved wellbeing.

I shared with our delegates the findings of our 2017 survey, emphasising how UK offshore workers compare with their global counterparts.

Matt Dawson, Sodexo Ambassador and former England rugby player, then took the stage, drawing parallels between the UK Oil & Gas industry’s Vision 2035 and England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup winning team, highlighting how the offshore community could collectively achieve their goals by employing a similar focus on succession planning.

We then invited our guest panellists Robin Watson, Chief Executive of Wood plc, Louise Goetz, Europe Director at Oilfield Equipment, Baker Hughes (a GE Company) and Matthew Brodie, Managing Director at Noble Drilling, to discuss the changes the industry and their respective companies are facing.

There was an interesting discussion covering subjects such as the impact of technology as well as the importance of working together, sharing knowledge and best practice. There was universal agreement from the session acknowledging quality of life as a strong differentiator to attract the next generation of talent towards a career offshore.

Through events like this, we can help companies share knowledge and best practice to ensure that the UK remains an exciting place for energy professionals to live and work, despite the new operating conditions.

I want to thank all those that attended and particularly our guest panellists. We enjoyed some interesting views and shared the many challenges we are all are facing in an open and honest forum.  We look forward to on-going work with our clients and the industry to address this issue.

April 15, 2019

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