You can have all the qualifications in the world – but unless you know the right people you may be hard pressed to get a job in the oil and gas industry.
That’s the fear of one graduate who believes many young people like himself “struggle” to break into the business despite a looming skills gap.
Research by Lloyds Bank recently found 37% of service and equipment suppliers and a quarter (25%) of exploration and production firms is worried about the shortage of skilled workers.
But Nathan Tsormetsri, Oil and Gas Law Graduate from the University of Reading told ELN: “There are great prospects but the problem is breaking into the sector.
“You can have all of the qualifications the sector needs but if you don’t know who to talk to and how to break into the sector it becomes very difficult.”
The industry directly hires 32,000 but indirectly employs more than 400,000 workers according to trade body Oil and Gas UK.
Although the number of offshore oil rig workers under 30 did rise over 2012, their average age was 41.
A lot of young people “struggle” to find a job, explains Mr Tsormetsri: “You can end up frustrated, maybe thinking of going to a different sector altogether.”
For all the difficulties, the graduate has ambitions to take a leading role in Ghana’s growing oil business: “I want to help build my nation Ghana and currently there’s a lot of oil in there and they need expertise.
“I have to go into the sector to man myself with the skills required.”
He says oil is “like the gold” of his country at the moment and could help Ghana’s economy go from strength to strength.