Nearly half of workers considering leaving in five years

By Dominic Ellis
While a new report flags salaries, development opportunities and skill shortages, one US energy firm has scaled the ESG heights

Nearly half (43%) of workers are considering leaving the energy industry within the next five years and top performers are 28% more likely to quit, according to latest research.

The slump in morale was a major issue citied by Brunel International and Oilandgasjobsearch.com, the oil and gas industry job site, in the launch of the 2022 Energy Outlook Report detailing key hiring and employment trends in the global energy industry.

Top reasons cited when considering an exit include low salary (25%), lack of good benefits (25%) and lack of personal development opportunities (18%).

"Rarely have we experienced such challenging conditions while engaging talent - from the social and economic impact of Covid, to rising inflation and production costs, combating workforce burnout and improving diversity and inclusion - it is a very complex time to attract and retain employees," said Alex Fourlis, Managing Director of Oilandgasjobsearch.com.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Significant skills shortages caused by an ageing workforce, inadequate planning for knowledge transfer and lack of training
  • Of those polled, 40% lost a job due to COVID in 2020 or 2021, with women 10% more likely to lose their job than men
  • Those who lost jobs in 2021, 59% said they received no assistance, compared to 44% who lost jobs in 2020
  • Discrimination is a key issue in the industry with 31% of energy workers say they have personally been the target of workplace discrimination
  • 76% of energy workers say their company doesn't provide a clear way to report discrimination

"Today as the world evolves, what we knew as "normal" has changed dramatically" said Jilko Andringa, CEO of Brunel International NV. "Advances in science and technology are all responsible for the acceleration of progress, significantly increasing energy efficiency, re-defining the energy transition and driving ground-breaking ideas that will power the globe in the future. Perfect timing for the future generations of specialists who are considering entering the industry."

At the Global Impact Conference 2021 (GIC 2021), which took place on December 1 under the Bridging the Gaps theme, Linn Caldas, Lead Mental Health Specialist at Spotify, Sweden, said the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequence, the necessity of self-isolation, and social and financial instability, has led to a global mental health crisis.

"Companies quickly have realised the importance of creating a safe environment that supports the mental health of its employees. But to create this environment requires fundamental changes in how workplaces are organised, as well as increased awareness and additional education for the employees who perform this work. Addressing mental health issues in the workplace and changing corporate culture accordingly has become and will continue to be indispensable for maintaining a sustainable workforce in any organisation."

One organisation in a better place than most is Spire. For the third consecutive year, the energy provider has been named one of 'America's Most Responsible Companies' by Newsweek, recognising the company for a strong ESG performance.

In the new rankings, it was listed among the top 500 companies across 14 industries in the US and one of only 10 companies ranked in Missouri.

"At Spire, our focus is on taking good care of our people, our planet, and the customers and communities we serve," said Suzanne Sitherwood, Spire president and chief executive officer. "We are grateful to be recognised by Newsweek as we advance our environmental commitment to becoming a carbon neutral company by 2050 and as we support the communities we serve through initiatives like Spire's 'Day for Good.'"

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