Undervalued and underpaid

Low pay scuppers recruitment (13 March) states that suitably qualified engineers are scarce. This should come as no surprise. In the early 1980s Mrs Thatcher allowed the decimation of the engineering industry. Not only is there a shortage of highly skilled technical staff but there is a shortage of shopfloor staff able to perform basic […]

Low pay scuppers recruitment (13 March) states that suitably qualified engineers are scarce. This should come as no surprise.

In the early 1980s Mrs Thatcher allowed the decimation of the engineering industry. Not only is there a shortage of highly skilled technical staff but there is a shortage of shopfloor staff able to perform basic machining operations.

A comparison of rates of pay can be considered as follows:

I employ a skilled jigborer capable of working to precise tolerances who has been with me for more than 25 years. We sell his work for £22 per hour to be competitive. A solicitor friend has done some work for me at a special rate of £110 per hour.

The jigborer uses a precision machine, temperature controlled with inspection facilities as a back-up.

The solicitor has a dusty old office with a few books with a Dickensian attitude.

Engineering in the UK is undervalued.

Name and address withheld