Nurturing the Future Generations
Workforce issues particularly on “talent crunch” and shortage of strategic human capital are increasingly being felt across many industries around the world. The gas industry is no exception. The phenomenal growth of the global gas industry, coupled with technological innovations have intensified the need for skilled manpower, but innovation however, will require talented people. The issue on talent is increasingly becoming more important in the future as growing global gas demand means huge additional gas supply and capacity will be needed.
Many factors contribute to the declining talent pipeline. A key contributing factor to the current human capital and talent shortage is attributed to the declining enrolment and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Although some nations particularly in Asia do not find this trend to be reflective of their situation, what is crucial is the fact that in advanced nations in the West which traditionally lead R&D and scientific innovation, this decline is particularly felt. If left unattended, STEM-related industries may one day find themselves seeking and sourcing for new talent from the same shrinking talent pipeline.
Another factor is the wide career options and choices for youths today. It is also possible that the oil and gas industry is being shunned by youths, possibly due to their misconstrued perception of the industry in the context of global warming.
A third factor contributing to the thinning talent pipeline is the ageing demographic profile of the global gas industry’s existing workforce either due to retirement or attrition. The oil and gas industry has one of the oldest median age technical workforces compared to other industries.
By gender, women only make up around 20% of the STEM workforce globally, and in the oil and gas industry, this trend also persists. This means that a lot remains to be done by the oil and gas industry in order to attract more women to join and contribute to the industry.