Pay and skills are up, but jobs are down

The proportion of skilled employees within engineering companies is rising, leading to an increase in average earnings across the sector, according to the EEF’s six-monthly employment review. The year-on-year percentage change in earnings rose from 3.5% in September 1999 to 5.3% in March, despite an increase in average pay settlements of just 2.5%. According to […]

The proportion of skilled employees within engineering companies is rising, leading to an increase in average earnings across the sector, according to the EEF’s six-monthly employment review.

The year-on-year percentage change in earnings rose from 3.5% in September 1999 to 5.3% in March, despite an increase in average pay settlements of just 2.5%.

According to David Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy at the EEF, the difference is due to an increase in the proportion of engineering employees with higher education qualifications, which edged over 50%. Combined with a growth in bonuses for skilled staff, this pushed the average annual earnings of engineering employees to £22,250.

But while the proportion of skilled employees increased, the total number of engineers declined by 1.5% in the year to March. The number employed as a percentage of the total workforce fell to 6.8%.

And there are more engineering job losses to come Yeandle said: `We are still hearing of companies making redundancies or closing, and we have yet to see the full impact of the decisions made on Rover, Ford and Corus.’

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