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Can Oil & Gas talent fill the Rail skills gap?

  • David
  • 8 Mar 2016
  • Rail

The fall in oil prices has caused a global scale back throughout the entire oil and gas industry and although this has led to redundancies, these professionals have the opportunity to enter a new sector. With the large influx of skilled engineers, designers and operations candidates into the market, it’s clear that a lot of the oil and gas skills are transferable to the rail sector.

Rail and oil and gas are both seen as part of the country’s critical infrastructure and operate in safety critical environments. This means that skills gained in one industry can be transferred to another with relative ease. A civil CAD Engineer or Technician working within oil and gas would be able to use their working knowledge of CAD platforms and structural design as they moved over to a career within the rail industry.

There are technical nuances and standards that remain specific to each sector, but that does not mean that the rail industry shouldn’t embrace these experts. The current skills gap has left the UK with a shortage of technical specialists and the differences in sector specific knowledge can be bridged through training and mentoring.

The UK’s rail industry is in need of infrastructural developments to match the rising passenger demand and create a more efficient system. With all these expansions overlapping in their timescales, the skills gap is only going to worsen. This means that those in the oil and gas industry can find opportunities on projects that will create jobs throughout their entire lifespan.

However, prospective candidates looking to change to the rail industry may be more inclined to work on the massive infrastructure projects going on throughout the Middle East. With tax free earnings, the warmer climate and opportunities to put world famous developments on their CV could pull them away from the UK’s rail network.

The UK should still see an increase in people changing industries, not just from oil and gas, but from highways and other utility sectors too. With so many opportunities on the horizon, now is the time to find innovative ways to attract the skilled people that are leaving the oil and gas industry.

While technical colleges and mentoring existing industry professionals is a long term solution, the skills gap that the rail industry faces is a very present threat. Attracting oil and gas professionals to the rail industry could help ease the skill gap and bring a fresh perspective to current projects.

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At Kintec we are already successfully placing oil and gas experts into the rail industry. With our large database and the flourishing rail business, we can help ease the transition between the two sectors. To find out how we can help you, visit contact us today.

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