RECRUITMENT PROBLEMS: The industry faces huge challenges in replacing current workers. Picture: Angela Catlin
The accountancy giant says the city is facing an "emerging talent and recruitment crisis" that threatens its future as a global hub for industries like oil and gas.
With almost half the local industry's workforce aged over 45, PwC says Aberdeen faces a massive task simply replacing those who will leave in coming years.
When planned and potential increases in activity are taken into account, Aberdeen will have to persuade enough new people to work in the area to help recruit the equivalent of its entire current workforce.
The report's findings underline the scale of the challenge facing the Aberdeen area, amid intense competition for staff from other oil and gas centres around the world.
However, warning that perceptions of Aberdeen may "impede" its ability to attract fresh talent, the authors say the recruitment drive has been undermined by the fall-out from the public row about the city's Union Terrace Gardens.
Last month councillors voted to reject plans for a £140 million regeneration of the gardens, for which oil services tycoon Sir Ian Wood had offered £50m funding.
"It is time to show the world what Aberdeen can achieve when stakeholders collaborate, rather than let headline issues such as the recent Union Terrace Gardens vote skew others' impression of the city," said Mark Higginson, senior partner at PwC in Aberdeen.
PwC said the supply of appropriately skilled labour remains the biggest single threat to realising the potential of Aberdeen as a global energy centre of excellence.
With global demand for energy expected to be underpinned for years by growth in countries like China, experts believe the North Sea could remain buoyant for years with the right support.
Oil and gas firms plan to invest over £31 billion in developing giant new fields off Shetland and in existing assets in coming years.
The emergence of the renewable energy industry will increase demand for skilled staff.
PwC reckons around 96,000 people who leave the North Sea industry will need replaced by 2022. The industry will have to recruit around 24,000 to cope with expected growth and new developments.
The PwC report will reinforce long-standing concerns about the skills gap facing the North Sea oil and gas industry.
Last week, Oil & Gas UK highlighted a recent fall in the number of 35-49 year olds working offshore in the North Sea.
The trade body also regretted the under-representation of women in virtually all offshore roles.
PwC said some positive steps were being taken. However, it said stakeholders including Government, firms and academia had to cooperate more effectively.
It said: "A perceived lack of collaboration and consistency in the overall approach to training and talent management means Aberdeen may not be competing as effectively as it could for skilled labour."
PwC reiterated calls for the creation of an Energy Academy.
Mr Higginson added: "We must continue to lobby government to ensure that the tax regime continues to be attractive to the oil and gas industries and their investors."
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