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Published: 7th May 2022

Cogent Skills and UKPIA collaborate to release report on Future Skills For the Downstream Sector

The United Kingdom Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA) and Cogent Skills have collaborated to produce a report surrounding the future skills needed for the downstream sector. The report is a very significant milestone for the UK downstream sector, as it highlights the industry’s steady progress to reach Net-Zero. However, as the report indicates, this progress will only continue to be possible if employers have access to the skills they need.

The report is the result of numerous survey responses from senior leaders and identifies key strategic themes for developing future talent pipelines across the industry, including:

  • Expanding apprenticeship uptake across the sector, both for new entrants and as a way of upskilling or retraining the existing workforce.
  • Addressing attraction and perception issues by making clear the sector’s pivotal role in our low carbon future.
  • Collaborative working to create career pathways and coordinated apprenticeship programmes that showcase opportunities for growth
  • Leveraging workforce insights to understand, anticipate and respond to skills gaps, now and in the future.

Commenting on the report, Justine Fosh, CEO of Cogent Skills, said:

“The ability of the downstream sector to attract, retain and develop the talent it needs is not only a fundamental requirement for the stable operation of the nation’s fuel supply network – it’s a prerequisite for delivering our Net-Zero ambitions.

This report highlights the need for collaborative skills action across the fuels sector, from expanding the use of apprenticeships at all levels to promoting the various attractive and rewarding career pathways available. I look forward to working with colleagues to develop the skills solutions that support continued industry investment and job growth.”

Elizabeth de Jong, Chief Executive of UKPIA, said:

“The focus of the sector remains ensuring that the UK’s fuel supply network continues to operate while we build a stronger, sustainable industry capable of building lasting growth and prosperity. This will only happen if employers have access to the skills they need as the sector evolves.

This review provides a timely opportunity to drive change and improve the outlook of both the existing and future workforce, and I look forward to working with government, Cogent Skills and our members to deliver on the areas this report identifies are in need of action.”

Although the overall demand for liquid hydrocarbons is expected to reduce over the coming decades, the report highlights the importance of the UK fuels sector to our daily lives and the need for employers to access critical skills as the sector balances operational resilience with the continued transitioning necessary for long-term sustainability.

To read the report in full please click here

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