Report reignites engineering salaries debate

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The new-year often means a fresh start with a different company and it came as no surprise last week to hear that almost a quarter of engineering and manufacturing professionals are looking to do just that.

Research conducted by Investors in People found nearly half of those in the engineering and manufacturing sectors looking for a new job in 2016, with 19% actively seeking a new situation.

As we reported last week, Job Exodus Trends 2016 indicated that over a fifth of engineering and manufacturing sector workers complaining about the lack of career progression (21%), a similar number (22%) saying they don’t feel valued as a member of staff, and 23% expressing dissatisfaction with their level of pay.

Always a contentious issue for readers of The Engineer, the matter of salaries has been highlighted this morning by CV-Library, which reports the manufacturing sector experiencing salary growth in 2015.

The jobs website says the industry saw a 2.4% growth in advertised salaries in 2015 compared with 2014, with annual salaries rising from £29,260.33 in 2014 to £29,963.58 in 2015.

The sector also experienced job growth in 2015 with a 22.7% increase in jobs compared to 2014, which still lags behind the nation’s overall job growth of 23.5%.

Growth industries by salary:

Construction– 10.2% growth

Retail – 5.9% growth

Media – 5.7% growth

Charity – 4.2% growth

Automotive– 3.9% growth

Property Services – 3.4% growth

Consulting – 3.1% growth

Legal– 3% growth

Hospitality– 2.6% growth

Manufacturing – 2.4% growth

A broader analysis of the manufacturing sector has been provided today by EEF, which found manufacturers in pessimistic mood with 44% saying their company faces more risks than opportunities in the year ahead.

The survey, available at ExecSurveyJanuary2016 and carried out in conjunction with Aldermore, mirrors recent data from CBI and Markit/CIPS in relation to global economic conditions with 40% of manufacturers expecting further decline in 2016.

Over half (56%) of those that took part in the survey consider the UK as competitive nation for manufacturing compared to 70% last year and a further 36% of manufacturers see upward pressure on business costs as a risk to growth.

In line with the Chancellor’s bid to boost productivity, 55% of Britain’s manufacturers expect to increase productivity this year, while over four in ten expect to boost UK sales (43%) and exports (43%).

According to EEF, manufacturers will also prioritise investment in technology and innovation to boost growth.

In a statement, Terry Scuoler, chief executive of EEF, said: “The gloom that took the shine off UK manufacturing’s performance in 2015 is set to continue into 2016.

“But, while expecting similar challenges as those seen last year, manufacturers are still planning for growth.

“There is particularly good news about the number looking to prioritise investment in technology and innovation and those looking to explore new export markets. These are positive and proactive steps. At the same time, however, tough conditions call for tough decisions – and restructuring and cost-cutting efforts are clearly high on the agenda for some.”

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