Scotland: Discrimination against offshore workers


MSP has recently claimed that according to numerous reports, Aberdeenshire professionals are being repeatedly rejected for roles outside of their usual working sector, the offshore oil and gas industry. This is generating suspicion that workers are being discriminated against for their previous lines of work.

And this isn't a mere assumption. Many workers claim to have been told by potential employers that the rejection of their application was due to their experience in oil and gas. More specifically, because of fears that these professionals will have higher expectations for salaries and eventually leave their new job when the industry returns.  

It seems there is a mistrust towards these professionals due to their previous industry being 'down and out’. Also, their unenthusiastic switch to another working industry is not convincing employers these workers are truly passionate for any other sector.

The proof is in the pudding: According to Energy Voice news, one job ad posted online for a 'Health and Safety Advisor’ role actually noted that the company will not accept candidates from an oil and gas/ North Sea background.

Colin Macintyre, a let-go North Sea Procurement Manager, was continuously rejected for roles outside of the oil and gas industry, following the industry's downturn and the loss of his job. But according to Macintyre, this spurred him on to succeed.

“I spent a few months looking for jobs outside of Aberdeen. I had a discussion with my wife about taking the big decision to leave the family home through the week and only coming home at weekends."

“Some of them even said to me ‘we’re not interested as you’re from an oil and gas background, you’ll go back up to Aberdeen when the oil price returns’.

“A lot of recruiters need to develop more of an understanding the drivers of this downturn. It’s permanently changed the landscape of the oil and gas industry."

Unfortunately for oil and gas professionals working in the North Sea industry, there are little other options available than to change industry. Alas, when other industries are turning professionals from this sector away, the struggle to get a job continues no matter what industry these workers apply in. It’s proving to be a sad, vicious circle for these professionals.

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