High hopes for Suffolk salaries

SKILLED workers in Suffolk expect to receive higher salaries than their opposite numbers in Norfolk, according to a survey of salary expectations carried out in the region.

SKILLED workers in Suffolk expect to receive higher salaries than their opposite numbers in Norfolk, according to a survey of salary expectations carried out in the region.

Cooper Lomaz, a Bury St Edmunds-based recruitment specialist company, believes that better perks and benefits will be on the cards this year for skilled workers, due to demand.

Its prediction follows an annual survey of salary expectations stated by more than 60,000 job candidates in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire on the Cooper Lomaz database.

An economic upswing put a premium on jobs in sectors such as human resources, marketing and skilled engineering across East Anglia last year.

“We are going to see more incentives like golden hellos, because employers have to be more innovative in the salary package they offer,” said the firm's commercial director Jane Lovell.

“We are experiencing an economic upturn in East Anglia, and we've seen candidates for jobs get more opportunities, while clients are being aggressive in keeping valued employees.”

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The survey findings have helped the company to advise clients who are preparing salary reviews or are relocating to East Anglia. They are also helping to identify skills shortages in the region.

One trend the company expects to continue in 2006 is a greater number of opportunities in the dynamic fast-moving consumer goods sector of the retail industry.

Cooper Lomaz, which has conducted its comprehensive survey for the past five years, found in 2005 that salary package offers to successful candidates rose in line with inflation, but that salary expectations in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire are higher than in Norfolk.

“Suffolk benefits from being nearer to London, Cambridgeshire leads the way with a more specialised labour force and Norfolk still lags behind,” explained Ms Lovell.

The survey found that salary expectations for jobs in corporate and professional accountancy were 10% to 15% higher in Suffolk than in Norfolk, and the same jobs in Cambridgeshire were 15% to 20% higher.

In the survey, each jobs sector is analysed in detail by teams of specialist consultants.

The survey found that in Suffolk, CAD engineers/draughtsmen expected a salary of around £20,000, compared to £18,000 in Norfolk and £22,000 in Cambridgeshire.

Senior PAs in Suffolk expected an average of £24,000, compared to £26,000 in Cambridgeshire and £22,000 in Norfolk.

Call centre managers expected on average £27,000 in Suffolk, £30,000 in Cambridgeshire and £25,000 in Norfolk, while factory managers expected £35,000 in Suffolk, £30,000 in Norfolk and £40,000 in Cambridgeshire.

“Each member of our senior management team has been with the company for at least 12 years. We have so much local knowledge and really understand our market,” said Ms Lovell.

“The Cooper Lomaz salary survey is an important tool for client companies and individual job candidates, who all benefit from our knowledge of what is happening in their sector.

“We can give accurate guidelines on what is happening in the jobs market place, particularly in specialist markets which evolve very quickly.

“It was a record year for us in 2005, placing our candidates in more than 1,000 permanent and temporary jobs across East Anglia.”