Comparing like with like

There is a saying in German to `compare apples with pears’ -apfel mit birnen vergleichen. I would like to believe that German engineers earn twice the salary their English colleagues do: it is just not what I know from my own experience. If you compare the average salary of a mechanical design engineer in England […]

There is a saying in German to `compare apples with pears’ -apfel mit birnen vergleichen.

I would like to believe that German engineers earn twice the salary their English colleagues do: it is just not what I know from my own experience.

If you compare the average salary of a mechanical design engineer in England (£26,000 with that of the head of a design department in Germany (DM140,400 – £52,000) then you are certainly right. But just think about apples and pears. They taste different and their price is different too.

A major problem for English companies when it comes to recruiting German engineers is of course salary, but how much does Rover lose per day if they cannot fill the positions in their new R&D centre at Gaydon?

A major problem is inflexibility to differences in culture and lifestyle – Continental Europeans are different, believe me! Other problems include little support to find a suitable home for the family, poor pension schemes and little or no support in insurance or tax-related matters.

The general image of England in Germany dates back to the situation 20 years ago.

A German-owned company such as Rover should be able to overcome these problems. United Europe is still a long way off.

{{Bernward Starke,Dipl Ing,graduated in mechanical engineering in Germany}}