PESGB December 2008
President’s Page- Jamie Knibbs
The ‘President’s Page’ is usually a fitting title for the opening article in the PESGB newsletter. Not so this month! For I am neither the President nor the President Elect but a new recruit, new to the industry and new to the Society. So why would an industry novice be writing this month’s opener? Surely a geologist who has yet to experience sub-$50 oil (at the time of going to print!) has few stories to tell or wisdom to share? This I concede is true, yet so is the fact that the number of new geoscientists entering the industry has grown rapidly in recent years. Therefore, perhaps it is appropriate that the Society’s newest members should feature from time to time. Over the next 10 years, the industry is threatened by a brain-drain as the largest and most experienced
demographic group reaches for its pension pot. Over the same period, demand for oil and gas will continue to grow, in spite of the current cyclical downturn of the global economy. Therefore, adequately resourcing technical positions will remain a major long-term challenge. Clearly it has never been more important to attract and train high-calibre graduate geologists and geophysicists.
I am pleased that the PESGB has demonstrated its commitment to recruitment and training through the provision of bursaries to selected MSc students. This is particularly important in light of the fact that graduate debt is at its highest ever level and therefore fewer graduates will be drawn to further study without adequate financial support. In addition to the support the Society is giving directly, we should also encourage our companies to extend post-graduate funding or implement it where it doesn’t already exist. Indeed, given the current economic climate, it will be important that such funding does not fall foul of short-term cost-cutting initiatives.
The PESGB has a further role to play in addressing the demographic challenges ahead. This is as a forum for sharing knowledge, particularly between newcomers and the most experienced in the Society. I have certainly found the monthly presentations and post-meeting discussions to be an informal but extremely useful component of my training. Perhaps there is scope to see this learning platform develop further. For example, the creation of a PESGB online professional network would enable members, wherever they may be based, to post questions, offer advice and share experiences on all matters geological and geophysical. It wouldn’t be quite as sociable as a pint in ‘The Guinea’, but nonetheless a useful supplement to consider for 2009.