The leading representative body for the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry has announced plans to ramp up efforts to maintain and encourage a diverse and inclusive workforce as it marks International Women’s Day.

OGUK will launch an industry network to highlight efforts to encourage diversity and inclusion, and identify collaborative approaches to encourage talent through the sector’s doors.

According to the Workforce Dynamics Review by OPITO, in partnership with RGU’s Oil and Gas Institute, the industry will have to recruit and retain over 40,000 people between 2018 and 2035 – this includes 10,000 new roles in areas such as data science, robotics, material science, nano-technology and cyber security.

Deirdre Michie, OGUK’s chief executive, said fostering a diverse workforce was critical to business success and ensuring a competitive position for the UK Continental Shelf.

She commented: “For the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry, International Women’s Day helps to celebrate the progress that has been made. It is a welcome reminder that more needs to be done to ensure a better balance in our industry, ensuring that it is and will continue to be a great place to work.

“OGUK is proud to champion industry’s efforts to date to improve diversity, not only today but throughout the year. The moral and business cases for better balance are clear and well-established and we need to embrace them if we are to ensure this sector sustains and improves its competitiveness.

“Our industry supports over 280,000 skilled jobs, but with women representing only one in four of the sector’s talent pool, there is clearly still more work to be done.”

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