Oil and gas skills gap costs jobs

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SCOTLAND’S oil and gas ­sector is facing a dearth of qualified engineers because youngsters see IT as a more attractive career choice.

The stark warning, the head of engineering recruitment firm Matchtech, comes as activity in the North Sea is expected to be buoyed over the coming years, with major projects from players including Dana and Ithaca. Matchtech managing director Keith Lewis surveyed more than 1,000 engineers and found 78 per cent wanted politicians to do more to encourage new blood into the industry. He said: “There is already a significant skills shortage and this is resulting in projects that could have been completed in Aberdeen moving to other parts of the UK and even to other European cities, such as Stavanger in Norway.”

Angela Constance, the minister for youth employment, said: “Engineering and technology remain key areas of growth for Scotland and, to help ensure we can provide an expert workforce for the future, we are investing time in our children to foster an interest in the subject from an early age.”