With redundancies prevalent across the North Sea oil and gas industry, there has been a huge increase in the demand for bespoke outplacement services in recent months. With over 15 years of experience in outplacement support, The Urquhart Partnership has been delivering assistance to many organisations in Aberdeen at what is undoubtedly a stressful and challenging time for affected employees. We have worked with our clients to deliver a robust range of services, covering areas such as CV development, job search strategies, making effective use of social media and interview skills, with the sessions generally delivered on a one to one basis.
Recently, however, we have been working with clients who are ceasing operations in Aberdeen, to deliver a series of Outplacement workshops in preference to individual sessions. One particular client had c100 affected staff, both onshore and offshore. The workshops were well received, both by the employees and by the organisation, and after reflecting on the workshops we believe the 3 main factors which led to their success were:
- Support and Camaraderie
In our experience from running the outplacement workshops, we were hugely encouraged by the camaraderie and mutual support demonstrated by the participants. There was a real sense of togetherness and the desire to help each other wherever possible. For example, there were countless examples of participants actively passing on jobs and sharing information regarding opportunities that they’d heard about. The workshop forum facilitated this information-sharing and allowed people to discuss issues rather than feeling they were alone.
- What are my strengths?
Many people are not particularly good at “selling” themselves, particularly when it comes to writing a CV. However, in the current market it is essential that you are able to highlight your strengths and achievements. We often have a blind spot when it comes to selling ourselves. Most of us are humble and not prone to telling the world how good we are. There were a number of occasions where participants were really struggling to identify their strengths and achievements. However, their colleagues were able to provide valuable input during the workshops to highlight the strengths and talents they saw in their colleagues, enabling them to enhance their CV’s and to subsequently sell themselves more effectively at interview.
- Cost and Value
Each workshop was typically attended by 6-10 participants. As 2 consultants from The Urquhart Partnership facilitated each session we were able to ensure that the personal touch was maintained. In addition, we were able to work closely with each participant to provide specific advice on their CV’s and address any individual issues they had. The workshop format also provides cost savings for clients with significant numbers of roles being made redundant over offering one-to-one sessions.
Other clients have adopted a hybrid approach, combining both the workshop format with additional one-to-one sessions as a follow- up. We always work closely with our clients to identify the optimum approach for their business within their budgetary constraints.
On a personal level, it is rewarding facilitating these sessions and offering practical support and tips to those facing redundancy, many of whom have not been in the job market for a number of years. The feedback has been very positive……
“In the unfortunate situation that Maersk FPSO’s has found itself in with the cessation of production and subsequent decommissioning of the North Sea Producer (NSP), we engaged the services of The Urquhart Partnership to deliver outplacement support to our onshore and offshore personnel who are all facing redundancy. My prior knowledge and experience with The Urquhart Partnership gave me the confidence that they would very well placed to deliver this service to the organisation and I was not disappointed with their professionalism and engagement from first contact with them. The workshops delivered by The Urquhart Partnership were extremely well received by all the employees, the feedback was very positive and the continued support that was offered in addition to the workshops was welcomed and has been utilised by many.”
Nichola McGilvray – HR Team Leader, Maersk FPSOs UK Ltd
To discuss the outplacement support offered by The Urquhart Partnership, please contact 01224 643465.