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Precise’s take on the recent job cuts made by BP

Precise discuss BP's recent job cuts and discuss what the future looks like for offshore workers.

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You won’t have missed the news last week from BP about cutting 200 jobs from its North Sea operations. Well, it wasn’t the only one. Apache and Schlumberger and ConocoPhillips also announced job cuts, following in the wake of Halliburton. So most likely you are thinking, “How’s that going to affect me?”

Here at Precise Consultants HQ, that predicament dominated our conversations and we thought we’d share a few of our thoughts with you.

Before our long term clients get anxious, there is one golden rule about companies cutting staff. As one of our account managers Tom O’Neill put it, “If you’re a strong asset (and if you’ve been placed by us, then rest assured we think you are) you’re more than likely to be retained. Good contractors are never out of work.”

Secondly if you are freelance for life, then you’ll know how quickly employment markets change. Co-founder Adam Sumner was keen to stress this point. “Often simply because a company announces a jobs cut, it doesn’t mean they’ll not be re-employing again in the near future. In fact, many will be involved in tenders for ad-hoc projects and when they win them they won’t have the permanent staff to cover the roles so they’ll need more contractors.”

There is no doubt that wages are facing hits. Already Wood Group and Amec are freezing pay packets on their brownfield developments. But as new projects get green lights and companies start re-hiring, it could lead to rates going back up as the market deals with a deficit in numbers of available contractors. This happened in the London market in 2011 and 2012 when Statoil, Chevron and BP flooded the local EPC and consultancy market with greenfield and brownfield developments.

The UK Government hasn’t taken the consequences on the UK industry from the oil price collapse lightly. Last year it decreased (slightly) the tax companies pay on profits. Although that was tentatively welcomed, many called for it to be completely removed. The Chancellor George Osbourne says he’ll look at new measures to boost the economy in the Budget coming up in March.

We at Precise Consultants want to ensure you get the first bite of what will be a tighter market in 2015. As well as covering Survey and Inspection, we are expanding our remit to include many other areas, and know that as we grow so too do opportunities for you.