Tackling The Skills Crisis – How Can Digital Learning Help?

06 July 2020
Tackling The Skills Crisis – How Can Digital Learning Help? Featured Image

With Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) on new oil and gas projects worldwide predicted to almost triple this year compared to 2018, companies are facing a double challenge - how to recruit people with the right skill set and how to quickly and effectively improve the competencies of their existing workforce.

Do wellsite teams have sufficient experience across all planned well operations? Do planning teams have a deep enough understanding to have critical safety discussions? Office based teams who lack the correct competencies can be frustrating – not to mention costly – but at the wellsite it’s dangerous.

A self-imposed moratorium on all but mandatory training over the last three years coupled with a significant reduction in the overall workforce has left the industry asking how we can deliver the levels of training needed while minimising operational disruption and cost.

A Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) survey found that 40% of respondents felt a skills crisis had already hit the industry, with a further 28% expecting it to take hold in the next five years.

With a third of senior industry leaders expecting to grow their workforce in 2019, compared to 20% last year and just 10% four years ago, tackling the skills crisis is becoming a top priority and is a frequent topic for discussion at major industry conferences.

Classroom vs Digital Training

While budget constraints are easing in some areas, managers still need to justify spend.

Traditional classroom-based training is not only expensive, particularly when travel and accommodation costs are factored in, they can also be ineffective. Studies show that learners forget a staggering 70% of what they learn in the first 24 hours.

As a result, many employers are now turning to digital training as a more cost-effective and efficient solution. The benefits are clear – no additional costs, learners can access training from any location globally and training remains easily accessible whenever learners need it.

Continuous, flexible and auditable

Despite the clear benefits of digital learning, many online courses miss one crucial aspect. Continuous learning. Delivering an on-going digital training programme tailored to your workforce’s needs is the most effective way to close competency gaps and improve knowledge retention.

Providing bite-sized training regularly, along with rapid assessments is far more effective than a tick-box exercise of completing a one-off course – on or off-line.

Allowing employees to study at a time and pace that suits them will deliver the best outcomes. While choosing a training provider that can provide real-world insights into the workings of the industry adds significant value.

What’s more, continuous digital training is also the best tool to support modern on-the-job training and mentoring programmes.

Invest for now and the future

With the market hotting-up, there are critical topics such as drilling operations, well control and emergency planning that all upstream teams should be covering. However, as incidents such as Deepwater Horizon have shown, ensuring everyone throughout your organisation has a sound understanding of the project lifecycle is crucial.

Explore Norwell EDGE courses here



[1] Rystad Energy https://www.rystadenergy.com/newsevents/news/press-releases/New-oil-and-gas-projects-set-to-triple-in-2019/
[2] . https://www.oilandgaspeople.com/news/17796/oil-and-gas-industry-facing-impending-skills-crisis/
[3]  https://www.dnvgl.com/news/greater-investment-expected-to-fuel-oil-and-gas-industry-growth-in-2019-but-signs-of-old-spending-habits-may-be-resurfacing-137666
[4] https://www.psychestudy.com/cognitive/memory/ebbinghaus-forgetting-curve