A survey of 100 companies in the oil and gas sector found expectations of employment growth had increased since last year.

The survey, commissioned by the Bank of Scotland and carried out by global research group BDRC Continental, found that a large majority (69 percent) of those surveyed were optimistic about their growth prospects for 2014/15. Over a third (38 percent) of respondents said the skills shortage would be their biggest challenge for this year, and 64 percent of respondents cited international expansion as a priority with Africa, North America, and the Middle East chosen as the key areas for investment.

Eric Doyle, Regional Director – Europe at Aquaterra Energy, said: “Aquaterra Energy is committed to closing the skills gap which has been a major challenge for the oil and gas industry for some time. Companies need to be innovative and creative in their approach to graduate recruitment and staff retention.

“Aquaterra Energy has been working hard to meet the skills shortage head on, and has seen considerable success through our apprenticeship programmes and partnerships with educational institutions. By collaborating with the government, industry leaders and educators, we can make engineering cool again!”