Brown & Root needs another 500 or 1,000 professional engineers for its fast-expanding energy services division.
Brown & Root Energy Services’ requirement is immediate and covers all categories of engineer – chartered, incorporated and technical.
Dr Mary Harris, director general of Yes, said Brown & Root was not alone in having a large number of unfilled engineering positions. Foster Wheeler had reported 200 immediate vacancies, while others such as Ove Arup and Kellogg were known to have similar difficulties.
This imbalance in the job market has led to sharp increases in the salaries offered to engineers.
The Engineering Council, says the average annual salary rose from £25,000 in 1990 to £36,000 in 1995 (the last year for which it has full statistics). Harris said that Siemens was offering salaries of £40,000 in the North East of England for people coming in with CAD/CAM experience.
Only 8,000 of the 10,000 apprenticeship schemes on offer this year have been taken up, and up to 30% of engineering degree places remain unfilled.