Petrochemical professionals a happy lot

GETI Report 2018 shows they are happier than their counterparts in O&G, power, renewables and nuclear

by HABHAJAN SINGH / pic source: GETI Report 2018

Petrochemical professionals are seemingly a happy lot, or at least a good number of them.

In a global survey of the energy industry, they topped the “happiness” chart — if there was such a thing — compared to their peers in oil and gas (O&G), power, renewables and nuclear.

When asked what made them happy, the top five contributors were flexible working, increased responsibility, general working environment, company culture, and training and development opportunities.

“Given its reputation for job security, stability is a phrase often associated with the petrochemicals sector.

“When it comes to the level of happiness among professionals, stability shines through,” according to the Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) Report 2018.

The report, based on a survey involving 20,826 respondents from 163 countries, noted that 31% petrochemical workers said they are just as content now as they were three years ago — a figure that surpassed every other sector.

“More cutting-edge projects are kicking off and hiring is healthy in almost every area. This buzz is certainly getting people excited,” said Hannah Peet, the MD of energy job board Energy Jobline, one of the parties involved in the survey.

The second edition of the GETI report involved a survey that was open for six weeks. It was led by Energy Jobline and workforce solutions provider Airswift.

Airswift is an international workforce solutions provider within the energy, process and infrastructure industries, while Energy Jobline is a pioneer of energy recruitment.

In recent years, the report noted that the petrochemicals sector had provided refuge for individuals who wanted to escape the turbulence of life in O&G.

Yet, survey data showed that job security and pay had failed to have as much of an effect on happiness as one might expect.

Instead, it said flexible working and increased responsibility were the leading drivers of contentment among professionals, with petrochemicals well outpacing the other sectors in both areas.

The petroleum and petrochemicals industries play a major role in Malaysia as well, with the dominant presence of national oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd.

The nation is today an exporter of major petrochemical products.

Among the items produced are olefins, polyolefins, aromatics, ethylene oxides, glycols, oxo-alcohols, exthoxylates, acrylic acids, phthalic anhydride, acetic acid, styrenemonomer, polystyrene, ethylbenzene, vinyl chloride monomer and polyvinyl chloride.

However, the GETI report did not provide country breakdown of its survey results.

Attracting Talents

But the petrochemicals industry is not doing such a great job when it comes to showcasing the good developments that have taken place.

Despite the potential appeal of its perceived stability to talents, the report said only half of petrochemicals respondents believe that the sector did a good job of marketing itself to prospective talents.

On the contrary, most felt that improved training programmes and better compensation are necessary to attract the best people.

“Culture is also important. The prevalence of blue-collar opportunities may create the image of a petrochemicals sector that is labourious and dated.

“Similar to O&G, petrochemicals companies can do more to communicate the cutting-edge projects that are happening in the sector,” said Airswift COO Janette Marx in the report.

“Likewise, hiring managers can lean on culture to demonstrate the differences between petrochemicals and O&G.

“With more long-term roles and a focus on staying local, this sector is ideal for anyone who wants to develop their career in one place,” she added.