Petroplan Insights

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in the UAE

The rapid rise of renewable energy in the Middle East

24 Jan 2023

Historically a region that has relied heavily on its vast reserves of oil and gas, the Middle East, is fast becoming a leader in renewable energy. 

Clean energy capacity in the region doubled between 2010 and 2020 to 40GW, with this figure set to double again by 2024. 

The shift has been sparked by changes in legislation as an increasing number of countries commit to clean energy targets and net zero. 

Which Middle Eastern countries are leading the charge to clean energy?

For decades, the Middle East’s energy mix has been comprised almost exclusively of oil and natural gas. As recently as 2019, these two energy sources made up more than 98% of total supply in the region. 

Recent volatility with oil and gas prices has underlined the risks of relying solely on fossil fuels and, as part of the wider push towards net zero, several countries are now seeking to diversify their energy assets. 

The UAE, a leader for renewables in the region, is aiming to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix to 50% by 2050. Along with a scaling up of solar, wind and biomass, the country is also targeting a 25% share of the global low-carbon hydrogen market by 2030. 

Saudi Arabia has set the most ambitious target of generating 50% of its energy from clean sources by 2030. Solar farms will be the driving force behind the Kingdom’s transition, with the country also investing heavily in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. 

Elsewhere, Qatar is among the countries adopting electric vehicle (EV) technologies and plans to transition to an emissions-free public transport system by 2030. Israel and Oman are also taking steps to reach net zero by 2050, generating thousands of renewable energy jobs for local people. 

Key renewable energy projects in the Middle East

Some of the world’s biggest and most ambitious renewable energy projects can be found in the Middle East. We’ve picked out three key projects that are set to drive the region’s transition to renewable energy over the coming decades. 

Neom, Saudi Arabia

The Neom megacity currently under construction in the northwest of Saudi Arabia promises to push the boundaries of urban design. Its ambitious scope of work extends to energy, with the city to be powered entirely by solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy. 

Neom will also feature what has been dubbed the world’s largest green-hydrogen-based ammonia production plant. The facility is expected to produce up to 600 tonnes of carbon-free hydrogen per day, which will be used as a sustainable alternative to fuel within the global transportation industry.   

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, UAE

Operational since 2013, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is soon to be the world’s largest single-site solar power plant. The power plant’s capacity is projected to reach 5GW by 2030, enough to power 320,000 homes. At its peak, the project created around 1,280 energy sector jobs. 

Alongside the Noor Abu Dhabi Solar Power Plant, which primarily serves the city of Abu Dhabi and holds the current title for the world’s largest single-site power plant, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will play a key part in the UAE’s push towards net zero.   

Dumat al-Jandal Wind Farm, Saudi Arabia

Dumat al-Jandal Wind Farm is Saudi Arabia’s first wind farm and the largest of its kind in the Middle East. Construction on the project began in 2019 and the wind farm was connected to the country’s grid last year. To date, it has created over 1,000 wind farm jobs for local people. 

Work on Dumat al-Jandal is still ongoing, with completion imminent. Once fully operational, it’s expected that the wind farm will have a capacity of 400MW, helping to displace approximately one million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. 

The future of renewable energy in the Middle East

With its sprawling desert terrain and exposure to intense solar irradiation, the future of energy in the Middle East is likely to be led by solar power.  The renewable energy source is set to account for 15% of the region’s power mix by 2030, creating thousands of solar jobs in the process. 

Due to the intermittent nature of solar energy, significant resources have also been allocated to wind energy. New projects in Oman, Egypt and Saudi Arabia will generate plenty of wind farm jobs for local people and industry contractors while bringing the region closer to its clean energy targets. 

The region has also emerged as a leader in green hydrogen. Several trade agreements, including the UAE-Germany Hydrogen Partnership and Saudi Arabia-Germany Hydrogen Agreement, will see the Middle East becoming a major exporter of green hydrogen in the coming decades. 

Similarly, the region has established itself as a hub for the development of CCS technology. Carbon capture will help to reduce emissions from industrial processes while also contributing to the production of low-carbon hydrogen. 

The development of clean energy in the Middle East is exciting news not only for the region but also for the rest of the world. Other countries will benefit from the region’s exports and innovations, creating millions of renewable energy jobs and accelerating the global push towards net zero. 

Supporting the energy transition in the Middle East

With over a decade’s experience in the Middle East, Petroplan is perfectly placed to support renewable energy companies and candidates through the energy transition. We recruit for a wide range of renewable energy jobs and can be trusted to find the right fit for any role.  

Contact us today to discuss our specialist renewable energy recruitment services. 

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Power for Petroplan: A look back at 2022

06 Jan 2023

2022 has been a busy but successful year for Petroplan. From scaling up our clean energy operations in the Middle East, to growing our team in North America, we have continued to expand our range of energy services across the globe.

As we continue to grow and adapt our offering to suit the rapidly evolving market landscape, we focus on prioritising and championing the best talent in the sector.

With 2022 drawing to a close, we look back on some of the highlights and achievements across the year…

We kick-started 2022 with a raft of appointments and expansions across the globe, signalling the start of a strategic organisational shift to sharpen our service offering. This business transformation was delivered by six newly appointed senior leadership team members, led by CEO Christopher Honeyman Brown.

January also marked the beginning of the expansion of our operations in the Middle East, driven from our offices in Oman and the UAE – supporting projects across the region in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait too. To accommodate a growing workforce in the region, we acquired more office space in Dubai’s business district at Jumeriah Lake Towers and welcomed new team members in the Muscat office. Leading this growth in the region is Regional Director EMEA, Darren Brown, and Recruitment Director EMEA, Dean Greenwood.

February saw the transformative remodelling of our office in Houston, Texas, to provide a larger and more efficient workspace for the growing US team. US team member Helen Fowler celebrated 8 years at Petroplan this year, following her promotion to Head of Compliance and Operations, North America, in 2021 – an honourable mention!

In recognition of the re-invigoration of energy projects in North America post-pandemic, we appointed David Waterfield as Director for North America in May. David manages our hubs in Houston, Texas, and Calgary, Alberta, and specialises in LNG export projects. As a result, the team in North America is exploring a number of opportunities to support LNG development projects and operational facilities, concentrating on operations in the US Gulf Coast, Western Canada and the Mexico Pacific Coast. 

In May, we celebrated the launch of our employee share scheme – the first of its kind in the recruitment sector. The scheme gives all our employees across the globe – no matter their level or experience – the option to enrol on the scheme on joining the company, with shares exercisable on sale. The share scheme has strengthened our continued mission to attract and retain high quality talent within the industry, and has encouraged productivity, performance, and engagement in the team – building an inclusive culture to celebrate everyone’s successes.

To take advantage of the multiple opportunities for growth in mining and energy in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, Petroplan expanded its operations into the large, mineral-rich province in July. The expansion is in line with the increasing demand for hydroelectric, hydrogen and wind power in the region, led by our business consultants in Canada.

Continuing our expansion in the Middle East and following a contractual agreement with national oil company Saudi Aramco in 2019, we expanded our activity in Saudi Arabia in August. This expansion focused on the EPC market in the Eastern province of KSA, and coincides with the Saudi Vision 2030, a strategic framework to reduce the country’s dependence on oil, meet net zero targets and diversify its economy. Petroplan will be supporting significant client projects in the region in the coming years, including the new city of Neom.

In September, the business announced its expansion into the Asia-Pacific region, and appointed Daniel Torpy to drive this new offering forward. With a regional headquarters in Singapore, we have initially focused on driving business expansion in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. In 2023, we will be entering the Australian market in line with government investment in the country’s renewable energy sector.

To end the year, in November we received the news that our annual contribution to Oakleaf’s Mental Health Leaders Network (of which we were founding members in 2021) has helped to provide 50 people with 12 weeks of counselling this year. Oakleaf is a charity who provide free support for those suffering from mental health problems in Guildford, Surrey, and the surrounding areas – where our UK headquarters is based.

As we look ahead to 2023, we will continue to grow into new markets and evolve our service offering, focusing on clean and renewable energy projects in line with international government targets and priorities.

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Critical minerals and their role in the energy transition

08 Dec 2022

The transition to renewable energy has given rise to a modern-day mineral rush. Increasing investment in green technology has seen soaring demand for the essential materials that power these systems. 

According to the World Bank, production of the planet’s most critical minerals for energy transition will need to grow by 500% over the next 30 years in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change. 

Surging demand for these materials presents new challenges to energy security – challenges that can only be solved through the combined efforts of key players from across the supply chain. 

The use of critical minerals in renewable energy technology

As with oil refineries and power plants, renewable energy systems are reliant on a wide range of minerals for their construction and continued operation. Generally, these systems require more minerals than their fossil fuel-based counterparts. 

According to the IEA, the production of an electric vehicle (EV) calls for approximately six times more minerals than a conventional car. Offshore wind farms need 12 times as many minerals for every megawatt of electricity produced compared to natural gas systems. 

Elsewhere, critical minerals can be found in the high-performance motors, batteries and generators that power solar farms and green hydrogen systems. The widespread need for raw materials and required pace of transition means that minerals sourcing must be scaled up significantly. 

What critical minerals are needed for the energy transition?

The types of minerals needed to support energy transition vary by technology. Some elements are essential for batteries, while others are especially suited to motors, magnets or electrical wiring. Here, we explore five of the materials in greatest demand. 

Copper

Arguably the most important mineral for energy transition, copper can be found in a wide range of clean energy technologies including wind turbines and solar panels as well as the energy infrastructure that stores and transports electricity. 

Copper is second only to silver in terms of thermal and electricity conductivity, making the metal especially suited to electrical cabling and wiring. On average, clean energy systems consume around five times more copper than those used in traditional power generation. 

Lithium

Lithium is among the minerals currently in highest demand, with supply set to triple between 2021 and 2030. The metal is the key component of lithium-ion batteries, used to power many EVs and energy storage systems. 

Light and highly reactive, lithium has a unique ability to store large amounts of energy. However, it’s also finite, has an energy-intensive mining process and can be difficult to recycle. Many challenges lie ahead to scale up and make lithium supply sustainable.  

Cobalt

Just like lithium, cobalt is a critical material that’s used widely in rechargeable batteries. Previously, most cobalt had been used in mobile phones and laptops, however this has changed recently with EV batteries now constituting the largest single user of the metal. 

The growth of the EV market will see demand for cobalt more than quadruple between 2020 and 2050. It’s hoped that a significant chunk of this demand will be met with recycled cobalt, which, compared to lithium, is easier to extract from used batteries. 

Nickel

Nickel is a versatile metal with many applications in renewable energy infrastructure. Like lithium and cobalt, it can be found in lithium-ion batteries, as well as offshore wind farm equipment, green hydrogen electrolysers and geothermal power stations. 

The metal’s strong resistance to atmospheric corrosion makes it suitable for use in extreme environments. While geothermal energy is yet to be used on a mass scale, the IEA expects that the renewable energy source will account for up to 80% of nickel demand by 2040.   

Rare earth elements  

Rare-earth elements (REEs) are a set of seventeen metallic elements that includes the fifteen lanthanides as well as scandium and yttrium. While these metals are actually quite common, they are rarely found in large enough quantities to be extracted economically. 

Several rare earths are key to energy transition. These include neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium, which are used to manufacture the permanent magnets found in the generators of wind turbines and EVs.   

Scaling up the supply of critical minerals

Even under the least ambitious emissions pathway, the supply of critical minerals for the energy transition will need to increase dramatically. Scaling up supply brings several challenges, including resource shortages, trade restrictions and new environmental concerns associated with extraction. 

While many minerals already have an established recycling infrastructure, others like lithium are yet to be recycled on a mass scale. In these cases, it’s generally accepted that new mining jobs and projects will be required to meet the immediate needs of the transition. 

The demand for these minerals is set to create thousands of new exploration jobs in the short and medium term as secondary production is scaled. Increasing investment in minerals recycling will also generate a large number of jobs in renewable energy. 

Beyond the balancing act of primary and secondary production, there are also geopolitical hurdles to overcome. International collaboration between governments and corporations will underpin the transition, with key players working together closely to develop sustainable supply chains. 

Only through a holistic approach that considers the combined impact of minerals sourcing on the environment and communities that produce these key materials will it be possible to transition successfully to renewable energy. 

Petroplan: supporting the energy transition

We’re proud to play our part in energy transition and stand ready to support employers looking to recruit for a wide range of mining jobs as well as jobs in renewable energy. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your talent acquisition process. 

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A recent graduate working on an oil rig.

The graduate's guide to starting a career in the energy sector

14 Oct 2022

The energy sector has long been a leader in graduate employment. As the transition to renewable energy gathers pace, energy companies, now more than ever, are looking to young talent to spearhead the shift to a more sustainable future. 

Global energy investment is set to increase a further 8% in 2022, with the long-term picture of an industry characterised by consistent growth. This makes the energy sector one of the most exciting and attractive industries for graduates at the start of their career. 

Below, we’ve gathered some tips and insights from our specialist consultants for graduates interested in a career in the energy industry. But before we get into that, here’s a brief overview of the global energy sector in 2022. 

The energy sector: an overview for graduates

The global energy industry is at a point of profound change. Historically, the oil & gas sector has been the industry’s biggest employer, with a wide range of roles available to graduates including engineers, technicians and surveyors. 

The transition to clean energy is set to create millions of new jobs in renewable energy. According to a study published in One Earth, the total number of energy jobs will rise from 18 million in 2021 to 26 million in 2050, with as many as 84% of these to be made up by renewable energy jobs. 

Beyond these sectors, graduates could also consider a career in the technology and commercial sectors. Many energy jobs, especially those in natural resources and renewable energy technology, are technically complex and require postgraduate qualifications. 

As a consequence of the likely high demand for talent, graduate energy jobs tend to offer some of the highest starting salaries of any industry. According to a study from the Institute of Student Employers, the average starting salary in the UK’s energy industry is £28,000 – the fifth highest of any industry. 

Lucrative starting salaries and a rising demand for young talent to lead the development of renewable energy technology make a career in the energy industry an incredibly exciting prospect for graduates. 

Finding the right role

As a graduate, the first step is to consider which energy sector jobs appeal to your skills and interests, whether it's a job in the renewable energy sector or a business development role based in an office. In many cases, your degree will steer you towards a particular pathway. 

At such an early stage, however, your career is not set in stone; many employers will encourage you to develop skills in other areas, so don’t be afraid to apply to energy sector jobs that may not be perfectly aligned with your degree. You can get an idea of the roles available on our jobs page. 

Many energy companies have employment initiatives in place, such as industry placements and graduate schemes, to support the transition of graduates into the workplace. These are well worth exploring in greater detail once you’ve found a job role that interests you. 

Building your skills and experience 

When you’ve determined the role that's right for you, you can begin working towards it by building your relevant skills and experience. This could be through a paid role, work placement, training programme, further education or even industry events and conferences. 

A combination of soft and hard skills is key to a successful energy career. Along with technical skills specific to the job role, the top five soft skills to focus on, according to a study from think tank Rank, are active listening, critical thinking, speaking, reading comprehension and monitoring. 

Another thing that cannot be understated is the importance of networking. In the energy industry, personal connections often lead to employment. By registering with a trusted talent partner like Petroplan, candidates can also access a range of exclusive career opportunities. 

Putting together a winning application 

With enough knowledge under your belt, you can start applying for jobs. As a graduate, look for entry-level energy jobs or graduate energy jobs that closely align with your skillset. A permanent role is likely to provide a greater sense of structure compared to contract work, which is especially important in a first job. 

For every application you submit, make sure to personalise your CV and cover letter to the specific requirements of the role. We go into greater detail about how best to structure your CV and provide CV formatting tips elsewhere on the blog. 

Before an interview, do your research on the employer and be prepared to discuss both your technical capabilities and cultural competence. Preparing for a virtual interview requires a slightly different approach – test your technology before the call and make sure to stay visibly engaged throughout. 

Once you’ve secured your first role, commit yourself to continued training and development. Many employers will offer the chance to reskill or upskill, especially as businesses pivot increasingly to renewables. Making using of these opportunities can only enhance your employability. 

Champions of young talent

Petroplan has been helping graduates kickstart their career in the energy sector for more than 45 years. We recruit for a wide range of entry-level energy jobs and graduate energy jobs around the world, and our experienced consultants know exactly what it takes to secure that first role in the industry. 

Register with Petroplan today for instant access to a wide range of exclusive jobs in renewable energy, natural resources and infrastructure as well as expert advice from the industry’s best recruiters. 

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Green hydrogen could be key in helping the world achieve carbon neutrality.

How green hydrogen can help in meeting net-zero targets by 2050

27 Sep 2022

Climate change continues to be a major challenge for governments, businesses and the general public. In order to reduce the carbon footprint and achieve net-zero carbon emissions, it’s imperative to develop clean forms of energy as an alternate to fossil fuels.  

However, this challenge is threatened by financial considerations as the world faces the threat of inflation pressures, including interest rate rises, and energy supply and pricing are threatened by geo-political forces, especially in Europe. 

So far, most governments have focused their resources on solar and wind – two forms of renewable energy that are, by nature, intermittent. While the development of these energy sources signals a big step in the right direction, they alone will be unable to meet net-zero targets and continue to be challenged by storage issues. 

One form of clean energy that could prove to have a similar impact to solar and wind is green hydrogen. Investment into this renewable resource is on the increase, and creating the financial platform on which green hydrogen could fulfil its potential and lead the charge toward carbon neutrality. 

What is green hydrogen?

Hydrogen is an important energy carrier used to store and transport energy. Currently, over 95% of hydrogen production is fossil-fuel based. The remaining minority, derived from low-carbon or carbon-free renewable energy sources, can be considered ‘green hydrogen’. 

Water electrolysis is the key process that underpins green hydrogen production. This technique uses a carbon-free electric current, powered by renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro, to split water (H₂O) into hydrogen (H₂) and oxygen (O). 

While green H2 has been discussed as a potential source of renewable energy for some time, only recently has it finally found use in industry. The future for green hydrogen is bright, with the energy source expected to account for up to 12% of global energy usage by 2050. 

How can green hydrogen help in the fight against climate change?

Much of the excitement about green hydrogen stems from its potential to bring several “harder-to-abate" sectors – those that are most difficult to decarbonise – closer to net-zero emissions. Chief among these sectors are energy, steelmaking, chemicals and transport. 

Green hydrogen can help cut emissions in the energy sector

The energy sector is the biggest contributor of any industry to climate change, responsible for around 40% of global carbon emissions. Hydrogen is used in the energy sector as an energy carrier in fuel cells, facilitating the storage and transportation of energy across the supply chain. 

Currently, most energy carriers are derived from fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind continue to be frustrated by lack of efficient storage facilities. 

Green hydrogen, as a low-carbon alternative, has the potential to sustainably store and supply energy in the steps between production and end-use consumption. Green energy generated using renewable sources is an efficient way to create and store low carbon energy. 

Green hydrogen can sustainably power the steelmaking industry

Many of the most influential manufacturing industries are reliant on the use of fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas as part of the production process. One such industry is steelmaking, which was responsible for 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions in 2018. 

The goal with the steel industry is to replace the oil, coal and natural gas used to heat and reduce iron oxide with green H2. Industry leaders have already begun investing in new on-site electrolysis plants and green steel plants that could almost entirely decarbonise the steel production process. 

Green hydrogen can decarbonise the chemicals industry

Hydrogen is already used widely in the chemicals industry. It’s a fundamental building block in the production of molecules like ammonia and methanol which, in turn, are used to make chemical products such as fertilisers and pharmaceuticals. 

Currently, the chemical industry is heavily reliant on the use of grey hydrogen (hydrogen derived from fossil fuels). It’s expected that these high-carbon forms of hydrogen will be phased out from the chemical manufacturing process once green hydrogen production begins on a mass scale. 

Green hydrogen can transform the transport sector

One sector in which green hydrogen has already broken ground is transport, with several established car manufacturers now mass-producing fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) for the market. Rather than run off petroleum or even a rechargeable battery, these vehicles use a hydrogen-powered fuel cell. 

The aim is to develop this technology so that hydrogen fuel cells can be used not only in cars but also in planes, trains, lorries, buses and even ships. Green hydrogen can also be used to create green ammonia, a next-generation clean combustion fuel for power plants and the shipping industry. 

Building a more sustainable future with green hydrogen

With the energy transition gaining momentum, green H2 looks set to play a big part in decarbonising some of the planet’s most heavily polluting industries. The opportunities presented by this renewable resource are vast, with the number of green hydrogen jobs worldwide likely to surpass 5 million by 2050. 

Petroplan has a rich history in delivering renewable energy projects and stands ready to support both clients and candidates as investment in green hydrogen increases. Get in touch today to find out how you can benefit from the industry’s best talent and workforce solutions. 

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Petroplan champions youth energy talent

16 Aug 2022

Championing youth talent in the energy sector is a continued priority at Petroplan. The industry is full of highly skilled candidates and nurturing young talent is vital to ensure the energy sector continues to thrive.

David Jerrett, our newly appointed Client Development Manager in Canada, recently visited The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial University for an Industry Engagement Day.

Attended by funding agency representatives, federal and provincial government officials and technical experts, the event aimed to advance industry innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). The agenda for the event aligned with our business ambitions following our recent expansion in the province.

David said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to share our expertise in the resource-rich and fast-growing Canadian energy market and meet the next generation of energy talent.”

At Petroplan, we are keen supporters of progressive industry research and the transformation of NL into an energy innovation hub.

With a predicted compound annual growth rate of 9% between 2022 and 2027, Canada’s rapidly developing renewables sector is set to spearhead the country’s push toward carbon neutrality. Petroplan will support employers and candidates through the transition as the demand for green talent increases.

David continued: “At the event, we shared our views with experts and students, focusing on the technical talent shortage in Canada and globally. We explored how energy companies, EPCs and R&D companies can work with Memorial University to develop skills in the areas of highest demand.”

At the event, David led a breakout session with members of the National Research Council and Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science as well as industry experts from ExxonMobil, Aker and Hatch. 

He added: “Drawing on previous project experience with ExxonMobil, we explained how large global energy companies can support local engineering firms by partnering with international industry specialists and working with the University to research and develop new technology.

“It is my goal to promote industry collaboration and further renewable energy expertise in Canada and internationally. I believe this is the best path to alleviate the technical talent shortage and move forward towards a more environmentally friendly energy industry.”

A record number of job vacancies in Canada’s energy sector in the first quarter of 2022 sheds light on the current shortage of talent in the country. With such a scarcity of labour, employers struggle to fill their positions and push on with projects.

David said: “The session generated ideas for research projects to improve skills and technology for wind energy, hydrogen production and energy distribution in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“I’d like to share our huge thanks to Memorial University for inviting us to be a part of this engagement day to champion youth energy talent.”

We are currently scaling our Canadian operations to support employers through the energy transition. For more information about the event, please click here.

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The benefits of recruitment process outsourcing in the energy industry

05 Aug 2022

Effective recruitment is the foundation of any successful business. But in the energy sector, where employers manage a mix of permanent staff and temporary contractors, the challenge of recruitment becomes even more complex.

The ongoing labour shortage in the industry further complicates matters for hiring managers, who are now faced with a reduced talent pool to pick from. In such a competitive market, only the most meticulous recruitment strategy will attract the best talent.

How recruitment agencies can support energy employers

Outsourcing recruitment to a specialist agency is a worthwhile option for employers without the necessary resources or expertise to find the best talent. Recruitment agencies pick up the heavy lifting of selecting and onboarding candidates who slot seamlessly into the business from day one.

As energy companies reshuffle their staff ahead of the energy transition, the task of finding the right fit becomes even more challenging. Here are five reasons why recruitment agencies are best placed to take on this challenge and lead the hiring process for employers in the energy sector.

Larger talent pool

Unlike most in-house recruitment strategies, working with an energy recruitment agency allows employers to target passive job candidates. Passive candidates – workers who aren't actively job searching – make up around 70% of the workforce and are often the most talented.

Casting a wider net inevitably yields better results when recruiting for roles in the oil and gas or renewable energy sector. A larger candidate pool also allows for more inclusive recruitment, with the removal of bias and use of diverse interview panels a key focus of recruitment agencies.

Improved quality of hire

By outsourcing recruitment, employers hand over the task of talent acquisition to highly trained industry professionals. Experienced recruiters know exactly what to look for in terms of technical and cultural fit and draw on the latest methods to ensure the right match is made.

Identifying the best talent is only one side of the coin. In the energy sector, where skilled workers find themselves in especially high demand, leading recruitment agencies will be able to convey employer branding in a way that sells the job to candidates in high demand.

Highly specialised recruitment

Global fossil fuel demand is projected to peak by 2025. As we see oil and gas recruitment starting to contract and the focus shifting to renewable energy and other specialised fields like digital transformation, employers will need to target specific skillsets that are currently in short supply.

In specialised markets, recruiters must have industry-specific knowledge and understand the precise demands of the positions for which they are hiring. Petroplan’s recruitment team is divided into five sectors, with each consultant a subject matter specialist in their respective field.

Reduced time-to-hire

With the help of an energy recruitment agency, employers in the industry can streamline their recruitment process and improve time-to-hire. Recruiters undertake all talent sourcing, presenting only the best candidates to hiring managers for consideration.

Advanced recruitment technologies such as applicant tracking and psychometric testing, which may not be available to employers internally, can accelerate the process. Systems are put in place to guard against delays and fast-track candidates who show the most promise.

Workforce management

The best recruitment agencies work with partners beyond the point of employment to ensure compliance is met and new hires are ready to carry out their duties. Workforce management services offered by Petroplan include onboarding, payroll and HSE.

These services are especially important with contract hire, where the tie between employer and employee is more tenuous. As a second point of contact for employees, recruitment agencies play their own part in the onboarding process, helping new hires hit the ground running.

The energy sector’s leading talent solutions provider

Petroplan has served the energy industry with strategic talent solutions for over 45 years. In that time, we’ve built a global community of engaged candidates and contractors with skills spread across all types of energy disciplines.

As Champions of Talent, we provide industry-leading permanent hire and contract hire services to our clients. If your company is recruiting, whether for roles in oil and gas or the renewable energy sector, we can connect you with the right candidates.

Contact us today.

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Powering up: how the workforce can prepare for the energy transition

20 Jul 2022

The global energy industry is at a point of profound change. As governments and corporations around the world up their commitments to carbon neutrality, renewable energy sources are set to make up 50% of the global energy mix by 2050 – a considerable increase from 29% in 2020. 

With investment in renewable energy sources increasing, and fossil fuels being gradually phased out from the global energy supply, the workforce will have to reskill to fit the changing demands and challenges of a low-carbon energy industry. 

For companies and staff looking to get ahead of the curve, this process has already begun. Those who adapt now will be best placed to make the most of the opportunities presented by green energy. 

How will the energy transition change the workforce?

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that more than 30 million new jobs could be created in green energy by 2030. Oil and gas jobs, on the other hand, are likely to fall as production and profits in the sector contract. In the UK, for example, the number of offshore renewable energy jobs are poised to overtake those in oil and gas by the end of the decade. 

Many these new roles will be filled by skilled hands already working in the energy sector, who possess transferable skills applicable to jobs in renewable energy. A recent study from the Robert Gordon University found that over 90% of the UK’s oil and gas workforce have medium to high skills transferability, and are therefore well positioned to make the switch to green energy.  

We expect similar trends globally. Many of the skills developed in oil and gas jobs – such as project management, test and assembly, health and safety, servicing and maintenance and mechanical engineering – are readily applicable to green energy. 

How can companies prepare their workforce for the energy transition?

As the energy industry evolves, so too should the talent acquisition and workforce management strategies of companies that operate within it. The first step for employers is to centralise planning, bringing together people from operations, human resources, finance, and innovation to discuss changes that can be implemented at a top-down level. 

Planning should focus on the current and future needs of your workforce as the industry shifts to renewable energy sources. By clarifying the position of your company over the medium and long term, you can begin to identify skills gaps to fix going forward, either externally with new hires or internally through upskilling. 

Upskilling vs. recruiting

Companies that upskill their staff benefit from improved employee retention and a more adaptable workforce. According to Brunel’s 2021 Energy Outlook, upskilling is the most popular approach for tackling the renewable energy skills gap, with 64.7% of companies in the energy industry choosing to train and develop their existing workforce in preparation for the energy transition. 

While the provision of training and development can be costly, so too is recruitment, which should be reserved for specialist jobs in renewable energy. Generally, a balance of upskilling and targeted recruitment, along with the creation of a working culture centred on continuous development, is the best way for companies to prepare for the energy transition. 

How can candidates prepare for the energy transition?

Like their employers, workers should also be mindful of change in the energy industry. The trick for candidates is to learn the jobs market and identify opportunity areas, particularly those that overlap with any previous work experience in the energy industry or elsewhere. 

Looking to the future, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) expects solar to make up the largest share of renewable energy jobs in 2050 with 19.9 million jobs, followed by bioenergy (13.7 million), wind (5.5 million) and hydropower (3.7 million). 

With a career pathway mapped out, candidates can undertake the appropriate training for the role they have in mind. In some cases, particular qualifications may be required for technically complex renewable energy jobs.  

There is a range of development opportunities available to candidates through private companies, government bodies and training providers. Organisations such as Iron and Earth, for example, are helping oil and gas workers transition to fast-growing fields like solar energy. 

Laying the foundations of a green future

Petroplan works with clients, candidates and contractors from across the energy industry to ensure the right people are in place to support a smooth transition to renewable energy sources. 

Whether you’re an employer seeking to scale your renewable operations or an oil and gas worker looking to switch careers, our team of experienced consultants will help you get set for a green future. 

To find out how we can support you through the energy transition, contact us today. 

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Oil sands in Alberta Canada

Alberta oil sands case study: global demand for oil and gas increases demand for skilled workforce

05 Jul 2022

Alberta’s oil sands in Canada are the fourth-largest oil reserves in the world after Iran, Saudia Arabia, and Venezuela. These reserves are equivalent to around 165.4 billion barrels of oil. Canada is a big player in the global energy sector, and their reserves show how critical it is to their economy. It is predicted that in 2022 oil and gas extraction and infrastructure could account for nearly 10% of Canadian GDP. In terms of employment the energy sector employs 178,500 Canadians, a significant proportion of the population.  

Alberta oil sands growth  

The global demand for energy, in particular oil, shows no signs of slowing down and - despite a continued focus on renewable energy sources - Canada’s Alberta oil sands achieved a record year growth-wise in 2021 for crude oil production.  

With oil and gas expected to be a key transitional energy source that plays a part in net carbon zero targets, Canadian oil sands producers forecast that we could be on track for another record-breaking year in terms of oil production and output.  

Oil and gas jobs in Canada  

Influential voices in the Canadian energy sector are saying that there is currently not enough skilled labour to meet the demand for oil and gas jobs in Alberta which could hinder real growth.  

One of these voices is the CEO of the Canadian Association of Energy Contractors, Mark Scholz. He states that "if Canada is not able to recruit and be able to build the expertise needed to grow our industry, we're not going to be able to, not only supply our domestic market with responsible energy products, but we're also not going to be able to support the growing energy demands and energy security issues that many of our key allies are looking for." 

Scholz believes the oil and gas job market in Alberta took a steep downturn during the 2014 recession when the price of oil plummeted, further supressed by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. With oil prices now being close to pre-pandemic levels, producers are expecting their productivity to face a similar increase with Alberta in particular expected to be heading for a ‘boom’. 

With increased demand and a boom in Canadian production, how are companies making oil field jobs more attractive? Scholz has heard that along with other sectors, people working within the energy sector want greater flexibility in their working life.  

His statement shows the extent of socioeconomic change in recent years: "We always found that the workforce was very interested in putting as many hours in as they could. Not so much today — we're seeing that the demographics are changing and there is an element of work-life balance that is very important to this new generation that's coming up and companies are responding to that."  

One such company is Chissell, who are a family-led company who cannot afford large bonuses some larger corporations offer but are instead offering flexible hours for their oil and gas jobs in Alberta. 

Helping you find the right role for you 

At Petroplan, we champion talent and specialise in recruiting permanent personnel and contractors for businesses across the energy and infrastructure sectors, including oil and gas, renewables, technology, mining, power, and nuclear.  

As a talent solutions agency, we have excellent knowledge of recruitment, and a team of experienced consultants who can provide the best advice and results. 

To find out how we can support you in the rapidly evolving climate, please contact our team today. 

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