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Paying for profits

Letters

On last week's Debate page Mike Honeyman did not seem to dispute the idea that graduate engineers are underpaid so much as attempt to justify the fact that they are. His main argument was that clients would not voluntarily pay the additional fees required to increase salary levels.

We must remember that those same clients do pay their accountants and lawyers professional fees. We need only consider a typical developer's significant profit levels to know they can readily afford to do so. The pertinent question is - should they be forced to pay adequate rates for engineering skills? Whether they want to or not is irrelevant.

This is, of course, a consideration that affects the industry as a whole.

Unfortunately, until the industry as a whole begins to seek a way forward, the practice of valuing graduates 'as low as can be got away with' (as noted by Greg Lutton in the same debate) will likely remain the most common way of maximising profits in a singularly unprofitable market.

GJ Farquhar

farquharG@halcrow.com

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