50% of the employees in Oil & Gas due for retirement in the next 5 to 7 years

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Manpower projections for the oil and gas industry predict a substantial demand for professionals in the industry in the coming years, largely due to the fact that it has an aging workforce. However, according to HR professionals from the industry, the change in mind set that is needed to meet this challenge has still not happened.

According to an Ernst & Young study, one of the common challenges all verticals within the oil and gas sector currently face is, planning for the sustained availability of a competent workforce over the next five years.

"The O & G segment is extremely people centric; it requires trained manpower across all levels, from the rig to the refinery. This includes chemical engineers, electrical, civil and mechanical engineers who are ready to get their hands dirty. And the numbers that would be required are going to be far bigger than the number of recruitments done in the past," states Pran Bakhroo, HR manager (Oil & Gas) and HR firm that focuses primarily on oil & gas and the petroleum segment hiring.

One of the key factors to trigger this change is an aging workforce and upcoming retirement in this sector. The average age of the current workforce in India in the oil and gas segment is way higher than the global average. According to industry estimates about 50 per cent of the employees in this segment are due for retirement in the next 5 to 7 years. Analysts attribute this state of affairs to intermittent hiring by oil and gas companies which has led to a skewed, top heavy, organisational pyramid.