Is there a skills shortage in the energy sector?

A picture of Darren, the CEO of Nudge Exchange
Darren Nicol

I recently decided to post (or should I say re-post- thanks to those that pointed out the article was a year old:0)) a BBC article on LinkedIn that I feel is relevant to what we are trying to tackle at Nudge which was about a predicted skills shortage.

89,120 views and 166 comments later I unfortunately had to call time on the discussions but I was amazed by the feedback, some I expected some not but all was welcomed. The general thoughts were that there is a lot of skills out there that feel that the industry has been poor at attracting, retaining and retraining talent. ‘Too quick to let go to focus on bottom line in the downturn!’, ‘Recruitment firms screen but can’t see real experience from a half an hour online course’ or thanks to its blunt delivery, my personal favourite of simply ‘p_sh were just some of the comments.

My key point was that the industry will need to work harder to recruit, renew, retain and retrain talent. The industry bodies are doing some good work, but they can’t nor should it be their full responsibility to ensure the industry has the talent needed to work in the industry and tackle the bigger picture energy challenges.

This is what we are trying to do at Nudge, at a high level it’s to connect the contracted workforce with contracts. We are creating an app enabled contractor market place for a community of users to engage, transact and manage their contracts and equally a place for companies to source flexible top talent as and when they need them, this allows contractors to remain contractors, and companies to remain agile in line with the demands of their business, leaving everyone happy!

So how are we getting on? Well we are a start-up and no one said it would be easy, but we are still in the fight and now have got a great team in the corner so probably a great opportunity to introduce the Nudge’s dream team. It’s been said that a VCs look for the three H’s as in different skill sets, adopting this model firstly we have our Hackers which is our tech team, Mike is our chief geek and 30+ years software development supported by our junior Geek Numero Uno Shaun! Secondly, we have the Hustlers, not in a 70’s dodgy tash kinda way but skill sets that know the industry and have experience getting a start-up to market, enter our industry expert Doug and numbers guy Craig!

The Nudge Team
Getting the band together

All are fantastic additions not only for their skills but also for their belief in what we are trying to do. Which leaves the need for a Hipster, bit of stretch I know but if needed I can rock a man bun so by default, I take that slot! Fountain of knowledge, Warren Buffett says ‘if you hang with the smart people you tend to drift in that direction’, so I’m delighted with the team in place all of which are smarter than I in their fields so happy to drift! We also hope to add to the team later this year mainly in the tech and UX fields so watch this space.

So with a team in place it’s time to get after it, and with ‘after it’ meaning obtain funding, develop the platform, build market validation and obtain qualified leads, and push onto launch and start connecting contractors with suitable contracts in a more transparent and efficient manner.

That in a nutshell is what we are all about making the process more visible and by using some pretty awesome tech digitalising the process making it easier, less time consuming and well just a pretty cool site to find contract work. We also want to create a self-sustaining platform for a community of like-minded professionals that love what they do and want to support others in the energy industry, we have all sorts of ideas of how to do this and can’t wait to show you our prototype (Feel free to register interest for pre-release on the site). We feel that this will help the contractor and the companies and improve the way in which the industry manages its flexible workforce.

Anyways, I promise it kinda all ties in, going back full circle to the skills shortage, my post was well meant but hands up, in hindsight it was sloppy! What’s behind the article is a report that identified the need for different skill sets which is predicted to be in shortage in years to come. All the buzz words such as big data analytics, machine learning, block chain specialists, (Capabilities we are building at Nudge) are in there, but it should come as no surprise as all industries will likely be the same as business gets more and more tech. But equally overall the industry numbers are also predicted to decline as they move towards alternatives, so the title should have been more like, ‘Oil and Gas Industry faces digital skills shortage’……not quite so punchy right enough, but apologies if it came across as if I was biggin' up a boom when more likely its just change.

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment or reach out on e-mail also we have relaunched our landing page so feel free to give it a visit and read about our team and

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