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Off track


NCE's skills shortage analysis (NCE last week) states that too few 28 to 35-year-old engineers with project management experience are available. It adds that project managers in their early 30s are being offered salaries of £75,000.

I question if this is an acceptable analysis or even meaningful journalism.

A recent UK survey of project managers - including construction - shows that only 10% of males and only 5% of females are in the £75,000 and above bracket.

Over 60% of those surveyed (3,500) are aged 40 years and older; those in the 30 to 40 years bracket equate to another 30%. Mean salaries are in the range of £40,000/£50,000 (male) and £30,000/£40,000 (female).

There is also a potential £10,000 differential in mean salaries paid between the higher private sector (£40,000/£50,000) and the public sector.

It is difcult to accept that the under-35s have the track record necessary to be in demand to solve a resource deciency.

The market will not overheat on the basis of the whereabouts of 15% or less of the potential management resource.

The market will suffer and overheat depending on project management competency - irrespective of age.

Let us not dumb everything down to age. Many over-40 project managers and other project stakeholders could feel discriminated against.

Professor Albert Hamilton (retired), bert.hamilton@btinternet. com

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