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Retention rate soars at North East engineering firm

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LNG Industry,

Ashington (Northumberland, UK) based engineering firm FES has reported exceptional staff retention levels, with 62% of its staff working there for five years or more – and a quarter giving over a decade of service.

A handful of staff, meanwhile, are approaching 18 years with the business, it has calculated as it prepares to mark its 20th anniversary later this year.

Since 2014, the oil and gas supply chain business has recorded an average staff retention rate of 96%, despite operating in a sector that has seen mass redundancies amid falling oil prices in recent years.

FES supplies fluid transfer systems to oil and gas clients across the globe, from its base in North Seaton Industrial Estate in Ashington.

Projects this year include the delivery and installation of key components to oil and gas fields off the coasts of Ghana, Indonesia, and China.

Despite swathing job cuts elsewhere in the sector, which saw an estimated 120 000 UK oil and gas roles lost in 2015 and 2016, FES avoided any redundancies as the oil price halved from US$100 per barrel in 2014 to as low as US$50 last year, with current levels still low at US$70.

"We've certainly been able to keep our staff busy and give them job security in recent years," says business services manager Mark Latimer.

"Our competitors have been laying people off and cutting hours down as the oil price has dipped, but this hasn't happened here. Although our staff reproduce the same product lines, each project comes with different scale and tolerance requirements, so the work is varied too."

"We also maintain a pleasant working environment, thanks to the expansion of our Ashington site by 12 000 ft2 in 2014. It's a really nice space with plenty of room for staff to move around."

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