Career advice for ex-forces

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by Rebekah Valero-Lee on

Career advice for ex-forces

Morson International recently contributed to an Oil & Gas feature in Equipped, a magazine and online publishing company whose sole purpose is to assist service leavers and ex-forces in finding jobs, relevant training and further education. Please read below the article, due for release next week. An online link to the article will be available soon.

As North Sea investment hits a three-decade high, the Oil & Gas industry offers service leavers excellent resettlement opportunities not only in the UK but across the globe – but where do you start? Equipped talks to Adrian Adair, Operations Director at the specialist engineering recruitment company, Morson International, to find out more about a career in this diverse industry.

If you’re looking to resettle into a role within the Oil & Gas sector, now is a good time to do it, advises Morson International’s operations director, Adrian Adair. The price of oil has risen over the past few years, and because of this there has been an increased demand across the industry for a wide scope of disciplines.

“With previous oil price rises” comments Adair, “companies have found it worth their while to explore further, drill deeper and refurbish existing platforms in locations like the North Sea – where previously it wouldn’t have been perceived as economically viable to continue exploration. Couple this with new finds across the globe, and the result is a high demand for skilled workers across all disciplines in the industry.”

A career within the Oil & Gas industry can vary from an office-based design job in the UK, to project management in the Middle East or working on rigs in the North Sea. Experience is key, explains Adair, however specialist recruitment companies like Morson International are ideally placed to offer training advice and support to accelerate placement success.

“If an individual has an engineering background then there are conversion courses available to suit specific disciplines,” he explains, “at Morson International we are looking to partner with our Oil & Gas clients to offer upskilling opportunities to candidates in high demand areas; one example would be across design disciplines where we would upskill individuals in design packages such as PDMS.”

Candidates specifically from a military background are highly sought after in the industry. Developments in locations like the Middle East require a workforce that is highly disciplined, unfazed by the challenging environment, and skilled in the delivery of complex project management requirements. These demands are not confined to this location however, and ex-military personnel experience career success in the UK as well as overseas.

Adrian agrees: “We find that of the ex-military personnel that Morson International places, many are inclined to opt for roles in supply chain management because they’re used to the complexities that the division demands. A background in adhering to strict timescales and schedules in demanding environments is key within any engineering environment, but specifically in the Oil & Gas industry.

“Now is the time to put plans into action – there is a high demand for talent and a low supply. There is a growing appetite for transferable skills in the market; so, people that may have an engineering background in the Marine, Nuclear or PetroChemical industry are also benefitting.

“It’s not always an easy transition, which is why a specialist recruitment company is best placed to support ex-military personnel when considering their future career options. Experience and training is key – we believe that if we don’t do something differently, then the demand for these people will continue and it will be harder to deliver a positive impact. Therefore, we have developed key partnerships with clients to offer training and upskilling so these needs can be met across the industry.”

So – what can you do now to better your chances when your service ends? Adrian advises gaining as much experience as possible in the environment you’re interested in working in. Access any relevant training opportunities that are available to you, and once you have established the area that you are interested in, speak to a specialist recruiter who can advise what is possible, and how to start your new career.

“Of all the engineering industries, Oil & Gas offer one of the most rapid career progressions,” comments Adrian, “it can be as varied or as stable as you want it to be, the opportunities are out there for the taking.”


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