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My role with Distress Centre Calgary is as the Clinical Services Manager, a position I’ve held for almost 10 years. My background is in Clinical Social Work. My main role is supervising our face-to-face crisis counselling program, one of our Agency’s core services along with a 24-hour crisis contact centre and also 211, the information and referral source for community, government, health, and social services. We’ve been providing no-fee crisis intervention services in Calgary for 47 years.
Some of the main psychological effects of losing a job include: anxiety, depression, loss of one’s identity, sadness, anger, sleep deprivation, relationship conflicts, substance use/abuse, and thoughts of suicide. In general, many of our service users describe some or all of these impacts. For many the uncertainty of how long the recession slow-down will continue has been very stressful. Many people relate to us that this current situation is the worst they ever seen. Even people who have survived previous ‘boom- and-bust’ economic cycles in Calgary relate how unexpectedly harsh this one has been, specifically in terms of the high degree of helplessness and hopelessness they feel for the future. Many people we hear from are resigned to accepting that life will never be as good as it was.
In general we encourage people to reach out and talk to someone (i.e. our 24-hour crisis lines) when they’re feeling stressed about their future. We know that the sooner people reach out for help, the more likely the psychological impacts can be lessened. We encourage people affected by job loss to use their support system, focus on what they can control, develop an action plan for creating some positive change, and use the time to evaluate their values, priorities, and focus time and energy on self-care.
Many of our clients identify job insecurity and financial stresses impact their family relationships in negative ways. We typically hear of more conflict related to finances and the stresses of having to adjust to a reduced standard of living. Sometimes this conflict can develop into domestic violence or child abuse, adding further stresses and strains about the future. Often we hear about increased alcohol and other drug use as coping strategies to numb out from anxiety and the worries about the future. Generally we find that whatever the initial presenting concern, it doesn’t take long to uncover the roots stemming from job insecurity, fears and worries about the future, and especially about future losses of self-identity, relationships, and loss of respect of friends and other loved ones.
For many people the uncertainty of how long the impacts of the recession and sector slow-down will last creates a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude that creates a frustrating ‘holding pattern’ of helplessness. People more anxious about their immediate finances typically consider taking ‘survival jobs’ until the sector picks up again. In general, we hear many people are reluctant to abandon their former jobs and careers for lower paying jobs as that feels like a ‘step back’ in their career. Individuals nearing retirement are often most severely affected. They may not feel financially secure enough to retire early and often fear that their age and experience will be detrimental to finding new work. Many people find the prospect of having to ‘start over’ very much intimidating and difficult to cope with. We often encourage people to use the time to reconnect with their values and reconsider other hopes and dreams they may have had at earlier points in their lives, essentially trying to turn a negative into a positive.
In general, our agency has seen about a 15% increase in service use over the past two years that we relate to the recession and impacts of it in the energy sector in Calgary. Certainly we’ve had many more calls related to resources for emergency financial assistance to pay for rents, mortgages, utility bills, and even to put food on the table. The amount of suffering create by the recession and sector slowdown in Calgary and across our Province has been unfathomable. Anecdotally we can say that this is certainly the worst we ever seen it locally.
Due to being the fifth and fourth largest producer of oil and gas respectively, Canada has been providing hundreds of thousands of jobs to people from across the globe for decades, fueling its own economy in the process. The last 3 years has seen over $65 billion taken out of Canada’s oil and gas industry due to a decline in capital investment and plummeting crude oil prices, resulting in extreme cost-cutting, mass job losses and the cancellation of dozens of projects. Sixty-five percent of oil and gas companies have reduced their staff, resulting in approximately 100,000 workers being made redundant.
Many skilled oil and gas workers have relocated abroad or to new states in search of work, not only due to redundancy, but also to the collapse of oil and gas training programs which could have provided them with the retraining for related jobs. Any new investment, whether project- or technology-related has therefore followed them. Job creation in this sector has been tight throughout Canada.
’The suicide rate in Alberta climbs 30% in wake of mass oil patch layoffs’ CBC News, December 2015
‘Saskatchewan, another energy-dependent region, has a higher rate, and it’s seen 19% more suicides this year’ The Guardian, December 2015
By the end of 2015, requests to the Calgary Distress Centre for counselling services had increased by 80% according to counsellor, David Kirby (CBC News, 2015). He claims the issues people are facing are vast, including substance abuse, financial collapse, anxiety, depression and relationship conflict. For those lucky enough to still be in employment, longer working hours are causing high levels of stress and fears that complaints will result in their lay-off too.
According to the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the oil and gas crisis in Scotland has “critically undermined rig safety, as workers fear reporting issues in case it results in job loss, causing serious health and safety implications – and there is fear a similar issue could be uncovered in the Canadian industry. As in Canada, workers are facing redundancy, shift pattern changes, wage reductions and loss of colleagues, and are being expected to take on their work.
We caught up with David Kirby recently to talk about the impact of job loss on mental health, how job loss can affect the family unit, and the work of the Calgary Distress Centre.
“In general our agency has seen about a 15% increase in service use over the past two years that we relate to the recession and impacts of it in the energy sector in Calgary. Certainly, we’ve had many more calls related to resources for emergency financial assistance to pay for rents, mortgages, utility bills, and even to put food on the table. The amount of suffering created by the recession and sector slowdown in Calgary and across our province has been unfathomable. Anecdotally, we can say that this is certainly the worst we ever seen it locally.”
Commenting on how the Distress Centre helps those facing job loss to cope, David said:
“In general we encourage people to reach out and talk to someone (i.e. our 24-hour crisis lines) when they’re feeling stressed about their future. We know that the sooner people reach out for help, the more likely the psychological impacts can be lessened. We encourage people affected by job loss to use their support system, focus on what they can control, develop an action plan for creating some positive change, and use the time to evaluate their values, priorities, and focus time and energy on self-care.
Many people find the prospect of having to ‘start over’ very much intimidating and difficult to cope with. We often encourage people to use the time to reconnect with their values and reconsider other hopes and dreams they may have had at earlier points in their lives, essentially trying to turn a negative into a positive.”
“Unless you have strong mediatory factors in place – such as good supervisors and HR support, chronic stress can be very negative, not just for the individual but also the organisation.”Margaret Crichton, Managing Director of People Factor Consultants (PFC)
Fortunately, the Canadian oil and gas industry is forecast to recover this year. Employment will grow steadily between 2017 and 2020 as new investment is placed in projects including a large two-train LNG facility in British Columbia. Market prices will increase from US$40 per barrel to US$71 with profits reaching 2010’s level of $13 billion by 2021. This is clearly positive, but because of the effects of the recent downturn, employers should put preventative measures in place and provide support for those showing signs of stress.
‘’5,200 wells are expected to be drilled across the country this year, an increase of 975 wells projected in November’’ Calgary Herald
Downturn relocations, baby-boomer retirements and technological advancements are causing an urgent need to appeal to younger workers from across the globe. With recent mental health campaigns such as Canada’s, ‘Not Myself Today’ and England’s, ‘Time To Change’ the younger generation are becoming more aware of its potential impact, explaining their greater likelihood to take part. They are also expecting a more open approach to mental health, demanding their employers account for this. Therefore, oil and gas companies should act, not only to attract new workers, but to give much needed support to their current ones.
When you’re living with mental illness, external circumstances that would normally be stressful for anybody are even more stressful. Job loss and unemployment certainly fall into that category. When faced with such a scary situation, it is more important than ever to make sure you’re using healthy coping mechanism, sticking to a routine as much as possible and staying productive, maintaining any treatment and also seeking additional help if necessary. Counseling and therapy can be beneficial in particularly difficult situations, especially as a supplement to other treatment methods and self-care.
Chelsea Ricchio, Communications Manager,Healthy Minds Canada
In recent years, there have been examples of the industry becoming more aware of mental health and its importance, but the question remains – does oil & gas, for all the emphasis it places on physical safety, do enough when it comes to its peoples’ mental well-being? As part of our wider campaign on health and safety throughout the oil & gas industry, we’re taking a look at what mental health is, why it matters and the particular issues facing many oil & gas professionals.
In simple terms, mental health is a person’s social, emotional and psychological well-being. Far from being related to mood or something you can just snap out of, it can impact everything, from how we see the world around us to how we manage stressful situations. Without support, somebody with a mental health condition typically suffers in terms of sleep, productivity and loneliness. In the worst case scenarios, problems can lead to self-harm and suicide.
Poor mental health can manifest itself in many ways, from mild anxiety, depression or a mix of the two to severe phobias, disorders and addictions. However it hits, the impact is always hard. Whether brought on by biological or experiential factors, poor mental health can make seemingly simple tasks seem impossible and seriously hinder day-to-day life. While mental health is unprejudiced to gender, it’s widely reported that for men in particular, there is a real stigma around admitting to struggling or even just confiding feelings. Instead of opening up and sharing serious feelings for risk of being dubbed weak, they tend to shoulder the burden themselves or—worse still—attempt to treat themselves with alcohol and other substances. A lack of understanding around the causes of mental health can be a further worry – mental health issues are not always linked to a distressing event or a broader feeling of discontentment with life. A happily married, wealthy and professionally successful person, with a good circle of friends and close family ties, could still find themselves overwhelmed.
Currently 450 million people suffer from mental or neurological disorders across the world World Health Organization
The industry needs to look at how it is monitoring and managing the mental wellbeing of employees, especially those in remote environments, where mental strain is often heightened. In a sector where physical medical health assessments are the norm, firms need to ensure mental health support is also readily available. While the physical wellbeing of individuals should always be the chief concern, considering employees’ mental wellbeing is also in businesses’ interests.
While support and action is required for genuine change, we can start to create a better environment for good mental health by talking about it and being open about the factors that confront many Oil & Gas professionals on a daily basis. While our sector is home to some of the best opportunities in the world, the work can be mentally demanding and physically isolating.
“The isolation is the worst I think. Whenever you’re stuck out here your life does not progress, your personal development comes to a halt, meanwhile life back home in the world keeps on moving faster and faster without you. No-one wants to admit they feel low even though the majority of them are. I really think companies in this business should do more for the mental health of their employees.”Reddit user telecast5
We have eradicated, or controlled for, almost all the risk factors in the highly dangerous environment of oil and gas exploration and retrieval; the biggest risk factor we have left is our own refusal to respond to issues of mental health and wellbeing across the industry.Dr Steve Smith Senior Lecturer (Enterprise Fellow) in Mental Health and Wellbeing/ Enterprise Manager School of Nursing and Midwifery The Robert Gordon University
Often referenced as a perk, the travel associated with an oil & gas career can actually be a burden that goes much further than the pangs for home we all feel from time to time, whether on holiday or a work trip. Feelings of isolation and being cut off from loved ones can be severe in oil & gas workers, especially those working long stints in remote or offshore locations, or risky territories where communication with those back home might be limited. Rightly or wrongly, rigs, wells and other sites are often perceived as macho environments, where emotions are left at the door. As a result, it’s not uncommon for people to feel unable to share. Being away from loved ones, the people who know and understand you, can be tough and the feeling of loneliness, as well as any accompanying mental health issue, is only made worse by not having anybody to talk to about it.
However you look at it, oil & gas is an industry that regularly expects its people to make sacrifices. Alongside long, demanding stints away from home, employees are often stationed in desolate or hostile locations. This can lead to a lack of genuine down time, with offshore work being particularly draining, or spending a lot of time on edge in high-risk situations. In either scenario, stress and fatigue can quickly become overwhelming and could lead to mistakes that put the lives of others at risk. The pressure and expectation on employees can lead to inner conflict based on balancing a career with a family. Transitioning back to life at home and the accompanying loneliness is as much of a challenge. Feelings of being an outsider even at home and being more comfortable at work, with transient, non-committal relationships, make reintegration into home life another challenge.
As far as adjusting to normal life is concerned, you begin to lose your social skills when you spend too much time in the field. The whole time you’re out here you’re in a constant state of stress and high irritability. Your mind and body makes the adjustments it needs to survive and operate in this environment. So, when you get back home, you’re still in that mindset that you have out at the rig, it takes a while to shut that off, and most people find that off-putting. ,Reddit user telecast5
It isn’t appropriate for physical health to be the only priority, never mind the only concern, of hiring companies. It takes incredible bravery to talk about mental health and ask for help. Oil & gas companies need to make it as easy as possible. Recruiters like Petroplan take steps to ensure the professionals it assesses for jobs are fully aware not only of the physical but also mental demands of working in the energy industry. Applicants don’t have to live far away from home for the environment to become stressful. Most of our clients do view mental well being as important and we look to support their convictions by probing an applicant’s motivations and experience and ensuring the candidate is advised of the working conditions and expectations for a position. We would welcome more official guidance on assessing people for this often invisible need.
“The oil and gas industry is committed to promoting the health and wellbeing of everyone who works in, or may be impacted by, our sector. Health in general, and mental health in particular, have been of great interest to our members and we have published several guides over the years, including managing the psychological risks of expatriation and assessing and managing fatigue risks.” Chris Hawkes, Safety Director at the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers
Since the employment market in the oil, gas and energy industry is suffering from a lack of demand at the moment, surprisingly a candidate-led trend has emerged where the desired talent is still in a good position to land the top industry roles. There are still a number of companies which are hiring, regardless of the overall view that “There are no jobs”, the difference is that; these organizations are only looking for what they classify as “top talent” and candidates that fully match a job specification. However, this top talent only wants to work under certain conditions, as in every market, they are aware of “supply vs demand” and know that people with desirable skills are in short supply as people exit the industry or sit tight in their current roles. The aim of this article is to demonstrate how to engage the most talented professionals based on the results we have from our Talent Insight Index 2016 survey on what aspects of an employment package is most attractive to energy professionals. These insights could form the basis of a more compelling job offer that is appealing enough to pique the interests of these professionals when confidence in job security is very low. If you are looking for a way to improve your CV in order to highlight your professional skills as top talent you can access CV formatting tips and download the a CV/Resume template on our online employment resources page.
The Talent Insight Index 2016 research has highlighted loyalty as a key factor to retain and develop talent. This can also apply to hiring new talent based on your existing employees’ loyalty.
Locating top talent that will want to be a part of your organization can be really hard to do, especially if your current employees won’t recommend it even in a downturn.
The first thing to consider when positioning vacancies as top oil, gas and energy job offers is having your other employees loyal and happy enough to talk about their “amazing job”, and recommending the roles to likely great candidates, or ex-colleagues whether online or through word of mouth.
Having a job requirement that makes reference to testimonials from current employees can motivate the talent you seek to apply for the position in the first place. If your current employees share their positive perceptions of the company, the potential candidate will be more persuaded to apply.
Loyalty to the company is usually a good signal, however this should not diminish the importance of the basic pay/salary package offered by organizations to attract employees and contractors.
In the Petroplan survey, respondents clearly state that basic pay is the single most important factor.
This is the same across all oil, gas and energy employment types, ages and regions of work.
As part of the Talent Insight Index 2016, we look at what the workforce ranks as the most important benefits to include in an offer of employment. To download the full findings of the Talent Insight Index sign up here: https://www.petroplan.com/talent-insight-index-2016/
When talent that your company needs is looking for something more of a guarantee of job security than just basic salary, a broader benefits package illustrate the values of the business that will also have a role in their decision.
There is an opportunity to attract both contractors and permanent employees with a whole package approach with many workers having lost security, training and medical support.
In the United States, Petroplan provides oil, gas and energy recruitment capabilities nation-wide; with a focus on the Greater Houston area, the Gulf of Mexico and the Texas Shale Plays.
We particularly concentrate on exploration and production, midstream and downstream, LNG, oilfield services and manufacturing; and our core specialisms include Discipline Engineers, HSE, Project Management and Services, Subsea, Subsurface and Corporate roles such as Technical Sales, Support Functions, Finance, HR and IT.
The full range of recruitment services are available through us, from executive search and contingency recruitment for direct hire, to contractor recruitment, mobilization and pay rolling.
The results of Petroplan’s Talent Insight index 2016 shows us that the top talent that the industry requires still values benefits such as length of contract, healthcare, training, holiday allowance or flights and bonus.
The order and importance of these benefits can vary, so we have created an ideal job specification for the US region “savvy top talent” that the industry is needing.
A review of the employment environment in the energy sector by Petroplan has found that, despite a major contraction in the value of the energy employment market over the past two years, global oil prices are now around the level where demand for talent looks set to pick up again.
Respondents from thirty-five organisations from across the major global oil and gas hubs participated in the survey, the aim of which was to gain insight from the industry’s employers on the prospects for recovery, and how this would impact on hiring in the near future.
Contract staff are likely to be in the vanguard of any recovery, with over two-thirds of respondents expecting greater use of contractors, bringing with them the flexibility and cost control which are critical in the current business environment. The use of Western expat contractors – long seen as a mainstay of the oil and gas industry – looks set to decline however as lower-cost local talent upskills and nationalisation targets take effect.
Activity is expected to pick up on onshore rigs first (in the US, then Middle East, Asia and Africa), followed by shallow water projects. Experienced technical talent, as well as those with a combination of technical and financial skills, look set to be most in demand in any recovery. Mechanical and chemical engineers, project managers and IT experts were among the shortage roles cited in the survey.
If anything, the oil price downturn since mid-2014 has increased the demographic challenge the industry faces, with experienced middle managers laid off and millennials put off entering the industry. While two thirds of respondents recognise the challenge as a major obstacle to growth, there was a feeling that multi-skilling and up-skilling the existing workforce will help to address it.
Rory Ferguson, CEO of Petroplan, said: “After a very challenging couple of years, our review reflects a cautious optimism for the future among energy employers. This is feeding through into hiring strategies that are focussed to a greater degree on cost efficiency and flexibility – but not at the expense of quality”.
“Something that came across very strongly from the review is that, whilst employers want to fill roles quickly, they also want to find the right candidate in terms of technical and business culture fit. Reconciling these two is where specialist recruiters such as Petroplan play a key role, even more so with the reduction of internal recruitment teams in many organisations”.
Full findings and analysis from the ‘Energy Talent Explorer Review’ can be found at: https://www.petroplan.com/about/energy-talent-explorer-review/
“There is a culture of resiliency in the Canadian oil patch, and people tend to pride themselves on their ability to find solutions in tough times. This could translate into heightened pressure on workers to keep their emotions under control and to themselves” Alberta Oil
The oil and gas industry is a high-pressure environment compared to many others, with stressful long hours requiring constant alertness set in isolated locations. With mistakes costing lives, workers can feel overwhelmed yet unable to express themselves. Weeks away from home and the people they feel comfortable around can enhance these feelings, building up until their mental health deteriorates. Being able to share thoughts and feelings with employers due to worry about what they will say to- and about- them, as well as how people may act toward them can also hinder their likelihood to seek help. In many cases, support is not available even if it pursued.
‘’Only employers and employees working together can make the changes that are fundamentally needed’’ Michael Kirby,
Partners for Mental Health
Part of the problem is in identifying mental illnesses. Not only for employees questioning their own mental states, but for employers unsure of what to do when they notice issues and knowing how to cope. With mental illness costing the Canadian economy $51 billion annually, effective support should be given to- or put in place by companies, not only reducing this figure, but providing employees with the help they need.
‘’Whether we’re managers, human resources, union reps or even co-workers, most of us don’t have the training or the knowledge about how to help someone. They don’t know where to begin, they don’t know where to apply limited resources or time. And so, they’re not sure where to get started’’
Mary Ann Baynton, Mindful Employer Canada
Fortunately, there are various mental health charities raising awareness among employees and companies alike. Not Myself Today, a campaign run by Partners for Mental Health has already had over 320 companies and organizations take part. The campaign aims to promote mental health within these places, creating a ‘safe, open and supportive work environment’, ‘reducing stigma’ and giving employees a, ‘better understanding of one’s own mental health’. They’ve seen much success, with 93% of companies stating the campaign increased mental health awareness, 89% claiming it started an open dialogue about mental health among employees and 88% agreeing it raised awareness of ready-available mental health resources. 78% also agreed it has helped to create a more understanding and supportive work environment. This shows how beneficial a mental health charity can be. It also suggests how duplication of this campaign across the oil and gas industry could be effective too.
The fact these charities and campaigns are needed highlight their importance – not enough is being done to combat mental health issues. It is estimated that improved treatment of depression could grow Canada’s economy by as much as $32.3 billion annually, and for anxiety, by up to $17.3 billion (The Conference Board of Canada). This impact is huge and shows the benefits for companies and its employees. Making use of mental health charities can clearly have a positive impact, and where possible, companies should put additional support in place.
‘’The reality is, in our post-modern economy, many Canadians in the workplace aren’t lifting heavy things anymore. What they’re valued for is their minds. And we need to do more to protect and promote the health of people’s minds in the workplace, because it’s when people get into trouble with their thinking and their feeling that it interferes with their ability to be productive, to be collegial, and to be at their best in terms of their functioning’’
David Goldbloom, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Petroplan Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Rory Ferguson is its new Chief Executive Officer.
Rory joins Petroplan from recruitment firm Lawrence Harvey, where he spent three years as Group Managing Director, overseeing a period of rapid growth and developing a new leadership team.
Prior to Lawrence Harvey, Rory spent four years at international recruiter Hydrogen, in which time he took the oil and gas team from inception to an international practice representing 20 percent of the Group’s gross profit.
He has a BA in History from the University of Southampton, and also served as an officer in the British Army for four years.
John Reeder, Co-Founder and Chairman of Petroplan, commented: “We are delighted to have Rory on board, given his very impressive track record and over twenty years’ experience in recruitment. I and the rest of the Board look forward to working with him as we broaden our scope and deepen the expertise we have under our roof.”
Rory said of his new appointment: “I’ve had a passion for the oil and gas sector for many years, but the opportunity to assume the leadership role within a well-known and respected international player like Petroplan was too good to pass up.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be working with the Board to build a strategy which I’m confident will include an element of diversification. But we won’t be straying too far from our primary market, where I believe value remains in the longer term.
In terms of Petroplan’s own people, I think we’ve got some great talent in the business. Where possible we’ll always try to grow organically and promote from within, but we will acquire experience if we feel it can give us a strategic edge.”
Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, chairman of Masdar, made the opening keynote address and extended his warm welcome to all in attendance. He spoke of how the summit had become the, ‘premier destination for championing sustainability and championing tangible and real results’. This is certainly true, as the last 10 years has not only seen the introduction of solar and wind power into emerging markets, but also the reduction of its production and maintenance costs, by one third and one half respectively. Though Jaber expressed hope for continued renewable success, he emphasized that, ‘oil and gas will remain critical drivers of the global economy for decades’ and that, ‘there is more benefit in leveraging both new and traditional forms of energy by integrating them’ rather than trying to reach 100% renewable energy usage.
The four-day event comprised various exciting and innovative talks, events and showcases that enlightened and inspired. Always a crowd-pleaser are the live demonstrations of the latest products and this year was no different. At the Sustainable Transport event for example, exhibits included fuel cell cars, robotic parking and LPG Powered Vehicle that certainly impressed. New product announcements included air to water generators from Maghdeem Contracting which work by extracting humidity from the air, floating solar panels from Nemo and the SAM Bridge Environmental Data Acquisition System by ISEO that can be used as hardware for environmental systems such as weather sensors and analysers. It all looked very technical.
91% of exhibitors were satisfied with the World Future Energy Summit 2017’
Talks of particular interest to us included, ‘Carbon Capture and Storage – a critical part of the future energy mix’, ‘Energy Transitions for Oil Producing Regions’ and ‘Disrupting the transportation model’. In the former talk, John Scowcroft (Executive Adviser at the Global CCS Institute) discussed the worrying effects of climate change but how carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies can enable oil recovery and stop greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere. With many Middle Eastern countries aiming to enact CCS schemes with the possibly of worldwide uptake, this has the potential to reduce worldwide carbon dioxide emissions drastically. In the latter talk, Dr Andreas Dietrich Kopp (Lead Transport Economist at The World Bank’s Sustainable Development Network), Tim Karlsson (Executive Director at International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy) and Tom Zhao (General Manager at BYD) discussed the future of travel. They believe electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells will eventually replace oil-based options and that transport companies especially should be wary of this in terms of future innovations. Lastly, in, ‘Energy Transitions for Oil Producing Regions’ El Hadi Jazairy (a research scientist at MIT School of Architecture and Planning) examined how various political, financial and environmental crises have placed energy as a top concern for many national leaders. He particularly looked at how geography impacts oil infrastructure and what can be done to benefit both.
In true, ‘World Future Energy Summit’ style, some key decisions were also announced. Saudi Arabia stated they would be investing approximately $50 billion (Dh183.50 billion) in renewable energy schemes such as wind and solar. They hope by 2023 to generate close to 10 gigawatts of power from these sources, considerably cutting their carbon footprint. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) itself will be investing Dh600 billion into renewable energy to appease growing energy demands in a sustainable way. India announced plans for a 175 gigawatt renewables addition by 2022 which led to much discussion and private meetings between potential partners such as Masdar, Dewa, AVAADA Energy and Mytrah Energy Limited. Other plans included Masdar’s acquisition of a 25% stake in the offshore floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland which is located in the North Sea and will power 20,000 homes from late 2017. Masdar and Bee’ah also agreed to construct a 300,000-tonne waste-to-energy plant in Sharjah.
96% of delegates were satisfied with the World Future Energy Summit 2017
So how could these decisions affect Petroplan? Though one may worry about the increase in investment of renewables in the Middle East, we do not see the oil and gas industry declining anytime soon and consider the evolution of renewable energy as a great opportunity for our candidates. Lastly, as stated in our celebratory post, ‘The Oil & Gas industry – the past 40 years, the current market and a look to the future’, the oil and gas industry remains incredibly lucrative as globally the need for oil especially is increasing. We are therefore certain that we will see continued success for the foreseeable future.
Recently there have been numerous complaints from people about so-called companies asking them to pay to apply to jobs.
This fraudulent practice seems to be extremely popular in the oil, gas and energy recruitment field, especially in Middle East, Asia and Africa.
As Petroplan is committed to ethical recruitment, in an effort to raise awareness of good practices and to help people avoid frauds, we have put together a list of some non-legitimate practices and ways to detect them, report them and avoid them in the future.
In order to detect a fake or “chargeable” job you can look for the signs and take the below precautions:
a. Watch out for the signs. Poor spelling and grammar is usually a good indicator that it’s a scam. If you were promised a job in a different country, you ought to find out from the embassy of that country how much a visa costs and confirm with the employer the applications process since the company offering you the job would normally resolve this for you.
b. Check the legitimacy of the company. There are a lot of ways to do this – performing a simple Google search on the name of the company should bring up a number of legitimate results such as LinkedIn page, Facebook page, Twitter account, company Tax page, job-board websites listings, possibly a company registration page and/or mentions of the company from other people.
c. Check that applications are submitted on the company website. There are a lot of so called “recruiters” who ask you to send an e-mail to their Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail account(s) and reply with a charge to apply to various jobs they advertise. Legitimate companies will always have an on-line free application process. All applications should be processed through a company channel such as via LinkedIn, an industry Job Board or their company website.
If you do come across a fraudulent job offer, you can follow some steps below:
a. Check on the advice forums – websites like https://www.safer-jobs.com/ are a good place to start
b. Report them to the police – a good way is reporting through the Fraud and CyberCrime Reporting Centre – https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud
c. Contact the official channels – contact the company they claim to be working with and report their activity and practices with screenshots and the e-mails they sent you.
In order to avoid these scams in the future:
a. Make sure you only apply to legitimate companies – check if you’re unsure
b. Never post your personal information publicly online – do not reply with your e-mail address or post documents in comments of a social media post; these are ways that scammers obtain personal information.
c. Pay attention on social media – don’t like or comment on a post that claims that someone will “review” your profile or comment with your e-mail to posts advertising hundreds of jobs at once. You should check if the profile that is posting this has a decent amount of connections and if anyone reported anything about them.
In conclusion, when applying for jobs online, make sure the company and applications process is legitimate, look out for the signs, ask for advice if you’re unsure and report anyone who charges you to apply to jobs.