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How do we combat the challenge of skills shortages in the US

By Group CEO, Kevin Franklin.

I have just returned from visiting our Houston office (opened early 2020 just as Covid hit) and it was an insightful trip for many reasons.

As I spoke to our customers in the US, it is apparent there is a growing challenge for businesses when it comes to recruiting and retaining people.  With the rapid recovery in the market since Covid but also with the oil price increase, we are seeing a significant re-staffing requirement coupled with a skills shortage.  With a focus on recovering from the turbulence of the last two years, the loss of the knowledge base during Covid from lay-offs has meant not only a gap in skills but also expertise leaving the oil and gas industry.

The feedback from my US counterparts doesn’t make easy reading – new joiners to businesses aren’t staying and there are reports of almost 100% near term turnover of employees leaving businesses.  The other main issue is even with organizations focusing on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) planning, the oil and gas industry may not appeal to potential employees and this is also a challenge when it comes to attracting the next ‘rising star’.  Promises of high salaries and generous packages aren’t always going to work for businesses and won’t necessarily see workers rushing to join the industry – the pandemic has shifted priorities and people have different motivations for their next employment.

With focused investment in staff, focusing on diversity and inclusion, supporting re-staffing/re-skilling within organizations and developing a smarter and safer workforce leads to improved staff retention. At 3t, we work with our clients to develop technology led innovative training solutions that lead to better learning outcomes. The technology solutions we provide through our businesses 3t Transform AIS Survivex and Drilling Systems help our clients transform their training with technology.  This too is  another important consideration when attracting a workforce that knows how innovation can increase learning but also create a big impact to reducing the carbon footprint of the employer.