British Steel is raising its pay rates in an attempt to lure top engineering graduates into industry and away from lucrative careers in the City.
Salaries for top recruits to British Steel will be raised 50% to £22,500 in a package that includes interest-free loans, placement on MBA courses and the chance to work abroad.
Out of the 200 graduates taken on by the steelmaker each year, around six will get the top package, while another 50 60 of them will receive more than the £15,000 basic salary.
David John, management development manager for British Steel, said: ‘We are unashamedly competing with City glamour jobs.’
Management consultancies and banks can pay upwards of £25,000 to new graduates, many of them with engineering degrees.
British Steel will use personality and psychometric tests, and university and academic achievement, to pick candidates for top pay. ‘Premier’ universities for the steel industry include Sheffield, Swansea, Durham and Imperial College, London, but graduates from others will be eligible.
The company hopes to avoid resentment from the 70% of graduates who will receive the basic salary by allowing transfer to a better package if they do well.
John believes salary differentials are going to become permanent. ‘The difference between the ordinary lad or lass and the top notches is getting ever wider,’ he said.
Leader, page 10