Could digital initiatives, digital transformation solutions and Industry 4.0 save Aberdeen from plunging in the aftershock of Brexit?

Will Aberdeen’s oil kingdom plunge? The aftershock of Brexit

Tim Pont, Senior Recruiter at FMC Global Talent
Tim Pont, Senior Recruiter at FMC Global Talent

Whilst Aberdeen is well regarded as the UK’s oil & gas capital, the potential aftershock of Brexit is beginning to register for the Granite City.

Due to its reliance on the oil and gas industry, with 30% of its exports going into Europe, tariffs could allegedly rise to an eye-watering £500 million for the sector’s annual EU trade bill.

Additional funding from the EU, such as £53 million for projects including offshore windfarms and the hydrogen bus initiative, will be completely abandoned.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit has already impacted long-term commitment and investment across Aberdeen’s oil market which now faces a particularly bleak future.

Thankfully, Industry 4.0 is here to save the day… Digital transformation technology represents optimism and a scapegoat for many companies who seek to reduce costs, downtime, increase efficiency and digitalize workflows.

Will Digital Plant technology save Aberdeen’s energy market of the future? Is Aberdeen ready for high level software adoption?

Workforce diversification

Abderdeen’s oil and gas workforce comprises a mix of skills from non-EU countries, whilst 5% are EU nationals, with numbers continuing to decline. Overseas employment registrations have already plummeted by 43% since 2015, hampering Aberdeen’s economic ambition.

Larger companies have started implementing emergency recruitment plans to weather economic backlash, however SME’s will struggle to financially retain and attract the necessary skills to survive (particularly where those skills only exist abroad).

Additionally, many industry professionals are being attracted by the bright lights of software and technology as digital transformation companies seek to take advantage of industry experience.

Digital initiatives

Digital initiatives are constantly emerging to help modernize the North East oil sector and bridge the gap between rising economic resistance and skills shortages.

  1. Data sharing is on the rise. The Oil and Gas Authority have released information encouraging collaboration between oil and gas providers, academics and software businesses to exploit “thousands of wells, seismic surveys and pipelines.
  2. Petrofac has opened a new “innovation zone to unlock the potential for digital technology in the North Sea and modernize Aberdeen’s oil sector.
  3. A partnership between Opportunity North East (ONE) and ScotlandIS also hopes to create a digital cluster and hub of organisations based in Aberdeen to drive productivity throughout the sector.

Although accessibility of some digital transformation technology for the SME market is limited, it appears Aberdeen trust digital initiatives to provide a potential safety net from any Brexit backlash and potentially future growth for the oil and gas market.

FMC Digital Plant

FMC Digital Plant are a team of technology and software recruiters who focus on connecting leading digital transformation professionals with businesses around the world.

Whether you’re part of the Aberdeen digital makeover and seeking specific software and technology skills to fill your vacancies, or a digital transformation professional open to new career opportunities, contact me at or call me on +44 (0) 1522 812 458.