Salaries in property and construction have risen by an average of 7.9% in the past year, according to the findings of the Vertical Salary Review 2017.
The report, produced by Vertical Recruitment in association with Place North West, shows that the highest average salary increases on 2016 were among quantity surveyors and general practice surveyors. General practice surveyors at intermediate or chartered level showed the highest salary increase at 20%. The lowest increase on 2016 was for architects, at an average of 4.9%.
A large gender pay gap persists across all disciplines and job levels, with an average overall industry pay gap of £9,971, which is a very small reduction against last year. The pay gap increases with seniority, and is highest in building surveyors. However, the rate of salary rise on 2016 was higher for women than for men among building surveyors, quantity surveyors, architects and building services consultants.
Work-life balance remains important, with flexible working increasingly sought after. However this year’s report suggests that salary, bonus and career progression are now a stronger workforce motivation than they were last year.
Brexit and a persistent skills shortage unsurprisingly ranked the highest on the list of challenges facing the industry. Economic uncertainty, funding and low project fees were also major concerns, along with frustrations around the planning system and procurement process.
Despite these concerns, 76% of staff were optimistic about the industry’s economic prospects, with only 10% expressing any degree of pessimism.
James Adamson, director of Vertical Recruitment, commented: “This year’s survey reflects the candidate-driven market that we are seeing. Despite some initial trepidation around Brexit, people are generally optimistic about the future of our industry which is great to see.
“This, and the ongoing skills gap, means candidates are able to command higher salaries and attractive benefits packages. Whilst this is forcing employers to compete for the best talent, many are seeing this as an opportunity to reward and retain their existing staff with a positive working environment that goes beyond salaries to include areas such as company culture, career progression and work-life balance.”
Paul Unger, editor of Place North West, commented: “I’m pleased to see the industry showing high levels of positivity. Though there is uncertainty ahead, there is a strong pipeline of activity in the region.
“It is shocking that the gender pay gap is still so wide, but with salaries increasing at a higher rate for women than for men across several disciplines, along with the mandatory gender pay reporting that was brought in a few months ago, hopefully we will see the gap narrow in the near future.”
Based in Manchester, Vertical Recruitment specialises in technical, construction and engineering recruitment.