News

University recruits career-changers from the oil and gas industry

Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen offers nursing opportunities to workers hit by the oil industry downturn
oil rigs

A university in Aberdeen has tapped into a pipeline of nursing students by targeting people from the regions struggling oil and gas industry.

Historically, many local school leavers opted for lucrative careers on the North Sea oil rigs, but a dramatic fall in the oil price since 2014 has hit Aberdeen hard.

Collapse in jobs

Trade group Oil and Gas UK predicts jobs supported by the UKs offshore oil and gas industry will fall by 120,000 by the end of 2016 compared with peak figures in 2014. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Aberdeenshire rose by 92% between 2014 and 2015.

As a result, Robert Gordon University (RGU) head of school for nursing and midwifery Ian Murray said the university is looking to recruit those considering

A university in Aberdeen has tapped into a pipeline of nursing students by targeting people from the region’s struggling oil and gas industry.


Nursing is being promoted as a career lifeline to oil industry workers   Photo: iStock

Historically, many local school leavers opted for lucrative careers on the North Sea oil rigs, but a dramatic fall in the oil price since 2014 has hit Aberdeen hard. 

Collapse in jobs

Trade group Oil and Gas UK predicts jobs supported by the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry will fall by 120,000 by the end of 2016 compared with peak figures in 2014. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Aberdeenshire rose by 92% between 2014 and 2015. 

As a result, Robert Gordon University (RGU) head of school for nursing and midwifery Ian Murray said the university is looking to recruit those considering a career change. 

He said: ‘A lot of people have lost their jobs in the area, or are still in the oil and gas industry but say “maybe the time is now right for me to do something different”.’

Recruitment campaign

The university’s nursing department ran a recruitment campaign over the summer, and participated in events to help people who lost their jobs in oil and gas back into work.

RGU exceeded its recruitment targets for all its nursing programmes in September for the first time in two years, with around 360 students starting courses. New starters on its nursing courses who previously worked in oil and gas have largely been female and tended to be employed in non-technical roles, Professor Murray said.

The department hopes to increase its intake of male and mature students.


Further information

RGU school of nursing and midwifery

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