I would like to point out what I see as 'the basic flaw' in Adrian Long's argument (NCE 6 July). I agree that a 20% increase in our salaries would benefit the profession in a number of ways and it is indeed likely that clients would not notice in the long term.
However, in the short term it is likely that many clients will continue to source our services by competitive tendering. While this situation persists, the improved quality of work (by higher paid engineers) that we are seeking to develop is likely to be overlooked in favour of those firms who continue to pay low salaries and who will produce the lowest tenders.
The real solution to the low salaries of engineers lies with educating the clients who currently source their engineering requirements on the basis of minimal cost.
Increasing use is being made of technical and experience based tender appraisals.
However, we need to show our clients that through the use of better qualified and experienced engineers, we can reduce their costs and improve the efficiency and performance of their projects. Only when clients appreciate this will they really be prepared and willing to pay for increased salaries.
Hugo Wood (G), firstname.lastname@example.org