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Matt Underhill, Managing Director of our Asia Pacific Region, offers his view on the future outlook for vacancies and talent in the region.

Shoots of recovery

According to Underhill, the Asia Pacific’s energy sector began to show signs of recovery in 2017, with the market growing considerably busier than in the previous two years.

 “We started to see much more hiring activity in the fabrication yards- typically a huge part of the Asia region’s industry focus,” says Underhill.

“So, in 2017, we noticed an increase in the job flow. It wasn’t a flood, but it was a real positive sign for our region.”

Commenting on the availability of talent in the industry Underhill said “I think we have seen a significant reduction in senior talent available in the industry with the downturn causing many to exit the industry and retire. This coupled with where the demand for new talent now sits is starting to balance the demand/supply side of skills, and this is a good thing for both hirers and job seekers” Underhill continues.

“The energy industry is undergoing serious diversification to other energy sources. There is a great deal more activity in the renewables space and gas continues to exceed demand in more traditional skill sets from coal and oil.”


Asia Pacific job hot spots for 2018

When activity in the fabrication projects increases this should see a significant uplift in vacancies in the Asia region, particularly, and NES Global Talent places a focus on areas such as China, Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Underhill says, “We are seeing hiring pick up for the engineer, inspector, QAQC and HSE disciplines in these locations,”

“It’s not quite as busy as things were before the oil downturn, but we have definitely noticed improvements.”

Underhill also highlights job hot spots for design engineering, which currently remain warm in the Philippines, Malaysia, and India. Design work in these countries is picking up speed, and at relatively low costs is being invested in by global engineering firms seeking to drive down cost of deliver.

Operations and Maintenance disciplines are also flourishing in the Asia Pac region, with the onboarding of many key assets in the upstream and downstream sectors across the region.

“The recruitment activity in these areas is a clear indication of exciting upcoming projects and bigger assets coming online,” continues Underhill. This is in line with many companies seeking to maximise existing assets and drive production and improve efficiencies (conversely mega capital projects may be low to materialise as we move into a moderately higher oil priced environment).

This means increased hunger for staff in the field development disciplines, and a higher number of vacancies available to professionals working in field development.


NES Global Talent is on the look-out for skilled professionals across the “entire energy spectrum” – Click here to browse our latest vacancies.

NES Global Talent is proud to announce the strategic alignment between ourselves and the Fircroft Group to create NES Fircroft, one of the leading human capital solutions businesses for engineering and technical talent globally.