Aberdeen must attract 120,000 recruits – the equivalent of the city’s current workforce – if it is to realise its potential as a global energy capital, according to a new report.

Accountants firm PwC said the recruits are needed by 2022, as almost half the industry’s workforce is now over 45.

It called for the creation of an Aberdeen Energy Academy within two or three years.

It also urged the city to move on from the Union Terrace Gardens row.

Councillors controversially voted to scrap the plan to transform the gardens – the £140m City Garden Project – last month.

Mark Higginson, senior partner at PwC in Aberdeen, said: “The supply of appropriately skilled labour continues to be the greatest threat to Aberdeen’s ability to become a global energy centre of excellence.

“Since we first outlined our vision of an Energy Academy ten months ago, an initial feasibility study has taken place with the concept gaining broad support from industry, academics and the public sector.

“But it is essential that this momentum is not only maintained, but that stakeholders are galvanised into action if we are to create the foremost global brand for industry excellence.”

‘Sell vision’

He added: “It is time to show the world what Aberdeen can achieve, rather than let headline issues such as the recent Union Terrace Gardens vote skew other’s impression of the city.

“Aberdeen can be dynamic, forward thinking and buoyant – it was even voted the happiest city in the UK – and we need to sell this vision to investors and future talent to help drive relocation to the city.

“This is a great city in which to live, do business and invest, but we cannot ignore the challenges. Amongst the greatest of these is attracting and retaining new talent.”