Oil services firm to create 500 new jobs across the UK

An international oil services company is to create 500 jobs in the UK over the next year as part of plans to grow its business 'substantially'.

Aker Solutions - which has an office in Great Yarmouth - said it plans to recruit 300 staff for its Aberdeen operation and create 200 positions at the company's newly established west London engineering office.

It was unclear last night whether or not the expansion plans would see more staff brought in to its East Anglian facility in Southgate.

But the move follows a 19pc increase in its order backlog since January 1 this year.

The oil and gas engineering and technology services firm said that the market outlook for both the UK and Norwegian North Sea, as well as Brazil, West Africa and Asia Pacific, remains strong.

The majority of positions in Aberdeen are for the subsea technology business, where 200 posts will be created.

A further 70 jobs are planned to support work for maintaining and upgrading North Sea oil platforms in order to extend their field life.

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Alan Brunnen, a managing director with Aker Solutions in Aberdeen, said: 'Last year we decided to take a much more proactive recruitment approach.

'Since then our strategy has been to man up ahead of the big waves of work that we know are coming.

'That offers much greater predictability for our customers and ourselves,

'We anticipate that workload levels will remain high over the coming years, which is why we are staffing up our UK organisation now.

'We want to be well placed to capitalise on future opportunities that arise in our markets'.

The Norway-listed company also needs technical and ancillary staff in Aberdeen.

Aker Solutions also aims to take on around 200 engineering personnel to its new London offices with a target of 500 by the end of 2015.

About 2,000 people have applied for the London jobs so far.

The company said that the offices, in Chiswick Park, will support field development projects for the North Sea and worldwide.

Valborg Lundegaard, head of engineering at Aker Solutions, said: 'Our company has had a historical presence in London, so this is a re-entry to an engineering market we know very well.'

Aker Solutions employs more than 2,500 people in Scotland and has smaller offices and facilities in Great Yarmouth, Maidenhead, Stockton-on-Tees and Whitstable.

The company employs 17,000 people plus 6,000 contract staff in 30 countries worldwide, and has annual revenues of approximately �3.9bn.