BAe boosts pay in bid for `super-graduates.’

Failure of recruitment campaigns spurs 50% salary increase

By George Paloczi-Horvath

British Aerospace’s latest initiative to recruit top graduate engineers by offering salaries 50% above the starting norm was prompted by the failure of major recruitment campaigns in Britain and the US.

BAe confirmed the move was forced by a poor response to this year’s UK campaign and its failure to recruit only 80% of its planned engineering graduate intake last year. The company said it had a problem with `underqualified’ graduates and was looking for `super-graduates’.

A major UK recruitment company said the new incentive of a starting salary for graduates from Cambridge University and Imperial College of about £20,000 – compared with the £14,000 average – is `quite phenomenal and a move in the right direction’.

Around 10 recruits will be chosen for the management fast track from a shortlist of 30 by the autumn.

`BAe has realised the dangerous position it is in,’ the recruitment firm said. `The campaign was a complete waste of time, as was the US campaign. The trouble is the engineers they want are either already here or overseas getting big bucks. In consequence they’re having to think hard and quick.’

BAe’s top rate compares with starting salaries for Rolls-Royce engineering graduates of £16,000-16,500.

`The man earning £22,500 with six years’ postgraduate experience will be rather upset, unless BAe plans to rescale its whole pay regime,’ warned one recruitment consultant.