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Oil And Gas Young Professionals Aim To Tackle Jobs Crisis

Young oil and gas professionals are experiencing despondency and low morale according to one young engineer who is helping organise an event to improve the options for young engineers.

The Aberdeen Young Professionals group has organised a networking event to be held at Centrica’s Aberdeen headquarters on November 4.

The event has been organised by the Aberdeen regional chapters of the Institutes of Chemical and Mechanical Engineers, Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Energy Institute.

It follows on from the groups’ inaugural event last year, but the climate surrounding the event has radically changed in the past 12 months. Talented graduates and young engineers who were being courted and feted in 2013 and 2014 by oil and gas firms desperate to attract new talent, are finding things tough as they see internships curtailed, jobs lost and careers stalled.

Gabriella Thomas, who works as a completions engineer and is a member of IChemE, said her fellow young professionals were looking for practical help to deal with the new reality facing the oil and gas industry.

Thomas said: “The work climate has changed a lot over the past year. Last year we looked at networking and soft skills and this year people were asking for practical advice on securing their future. A lot of young professionals are looking for reassurance.

“People are hearing from industry leaders that a new generation of engineers and young professionals that are needed to ensure the future of the industry, but the reality is completely different.”

She added: “People are afraid for their jobs. They think that because they do not have a great deal of experience employers will find it easier to let them go and I have heard of several people who have been let go. It’s a difficult time and has changed completely from what the mood was like last year before the downturn.

“A lot of people are feeling pretty down at the moment. We have organised the event to give people some practical advice and provide some inspiration.”

The event will focus on career adaptability and will consist of a series of short presentations from speakers in senior roles within the oil and gas industry.

It aims to give young professionals advice, tips and techniques on how to maximise their appeal to employers and also to hear from experience industry professionals and entrepreneurs who have experienced past downturns and have used difficult times to launch new opportunities.

Experts will range from a focus on human resources and what recruiters are looking for in a candidate, a presentation from two entrepreneurs who recently started their own business, and finally a discussion into how to make managed moves within a corporate environment.

Guest speakers include Chris Dunridge, director at the People Practice, Richard Knox and Robert Cowman, managing director and engineering director of East Coast Oil & Gas Engineering and Jim Lenton, project delivery director for Amec Foster Wheeler. Also attending is leading north east businesswoman Jeanette Forbes, chief executive and founder of the PCL Group, who established her own company in March 2000 after she was made redundant during a previous industry downturn.

Presentations will be followed by an ice breaker session with VIP guests, giving attendees an opportunity to network with their peers as well as senior figures from the engineering profession.

The free event is open to all young professionals – so any students or engineers within the first 10 years of their career. It takes place at Centrica’s IQ building in Aberdeen’s Justice Mill Lane. More information is available at

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