This week, following lobbying efforts from key players in the oil and gas industry, the government will make employing skilled immigrant workers in the sector easier. Companies have been complaining of a severe skill shortage that is inhibiting their prospects for growth and long-term planning. The normal immigration regulation limiting the influx of skilled labourers into the country has had particularly damaging effects in the oil and gas arena due to the national shortage of engineers with relevant experience. In practice, a company may hesitate to bid for new business, knowing that it may not be able to contract in the necessary staff if successful.
In response to this, 20 job categories will be added to the shortage occupation list (SOL), a register of jobs exempt from the usual strict immigration rules. Included are mechanical, electrical and production engineers. Hopefully this move will provide firms with the opportunity to build a stable future.