Widening pay gap lures graduates to financial services firms

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&quotBanks focus on recruiting top talent and the salary differential between the City and elsewhere is much larger than it was previously. Electronics firms are going to have to reassess their recruitment strategies.&quot

The 'golden hellos' of thousands of pounds offered by some firms in the City of London are proving irresistible, says the survey, prepared by KPMG in conjunction with the Federation of the Electronics Industry.

Ninety-eight per cent of electronics industry leaders said that solving the skills shortage facing the industry was a key issue.

Europe-wide, there is expected to be a shortfall of 3.8 million electronics graduates by 2003.

Most investment banks now offer graduate trainees a package in the region of 35,000 (€55,000). Rumour has it that some even offer 40,000.

This is much higher than the pay of most UK graduates.

Carl Gilliard, managing director of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, says average pay for graduates in 2001 is forecast at 18,600. At the lower end of the scale, it is not uncommon for graduates to receive only 13,000.

Electronics firms are cagey about where their packages fall on this scale. However, recruiters at the mobile phone manufacturer Motorola deny that finding graduates is a problem.

Jeanette Young, UK staffing manager for Motorola, says: &quotWe have numerous applications from graduates. We offer a generous reward package and signing-on bonus and have had feedback from graduates pleased with our remuneration.&quot

However, she admits that the battle for talent is still raging and that it is definitely a graduates' marketplace.

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