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Gap in Oil Workforce

The oil and gas industry is facing a shortage of skilled workers. A new study by executive search firm Maxwell Drummond International suggests the industry’s public image is making the problem worse. Andrew Schneider has the story.


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oil drillIn its annual survey of energy executives, Maxwell Drummond found more than 60% of respondents believe the industry’s workforce gap stems from poor public perception.

Jamie Ferguson is the firm’s Houston-based general manager for the U.S. and Latin America. He says that while part of that perception stems from last year’s BP spill, there’s a longer-term issue the industry needs to address.

“Outside of the key energy hubs, little is known about the oil and gas industry and the opportunities that lie within it. In cities like Houston, for instance, there are a number of universities that have excellent engineering courses that relate very well to [the] oil and gas industry, but outside of those main hubs, there needs to be more investment made, by oil companies, to educate about the opportunities that lie within the oil and gas industry.”

Ferguson says about 50% of the industry’s engineers are expected to retire over the next 10 years.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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