The number of workers in the North Sea continues to grow, industry body Oil and Gas UK reported today.

Latest figures show the core workforce – those who spend more than 100 nights a year offshore – grew to 25,760 in 2012 from 23,758 the year before.

This latest figure was the largest since the first study in 2006.

OGUK said almost 57,000 people travelled offshore last year; 9% more than in 2011.

The results of its 2013 workforce demographics report will be unveiled at a breakfast briefing today in the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

The study also shows that of those who travelled offshore last year:

The average age was 41.1 years, similar to previous years.

The number of people under 30 grew by 14% year-on-year.

More than 80% were of British nationality.

3.5 times more people worked for non-operators than operators.

4% were female.

OGUK’s employment and skills issues manager Alix Thom said: “The UK oil and gas industry is growing steadily with record investment in new developments forecast this year, mounting interest in exploring for new reserves and fields expected to produce into the 2040s.

“Hundreds of thousands of people are employed across the supply chain in the UK and the number travelling offshore for work is the highest since Oil and Gas UK produced the first demographics report in 2006.

“The volume of anticipated activity shows the UK oil and gas sector is an exciting and promising place to build a career. For the industry, understanding the workforce profile is more important than ever if companies are to meet the growing and long-term demand for people with the right experience and skills.

“Oil and Gas UK is developing and helping to drive forward . . . programmes to sustain the supply of workers throughout the industry, such as improving the perception of the industry as a place to build a career, helping to encourage the uptake of science, technology, engineering and maths subjects in schools, and supporting the transition of skilled people in the mid-career phase from other sectors.”