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Rail spending boom to jack up engineers' pay

NETWORK RAIL'S plans to spend an extra £8bn between 2009 and 2014 will send engineers' salaries rocketing, the rail operator's recruitment adviser warned this week.

High demand for engineers across all sectors plus a skills shortage could see wages rise by as much as 30%, said Visilent chief executive ofcer Tobias Read. 'Network Rail is going to be looking pretty hard to find people, such as commercial managers, project managers, cost engineers, ' said Read. 'It's not as if Network Rail is the only shown in town.'

'With all of the other construction projects coming online at the same time, there will be an increase of several thousand jobs for what is already a tight labour market.'

Network Rail last week unveiled an £8bn wish list of projects to start between 2009 and 2014. This is on top of the £20.8bn it already said it would spend during that period (News last week).

Network Rail said that it had considered deliverability of the £8bn portfolio. 'We are undertaking further detailed work to confirm that the overall work volumes can be delivered efciently and what resources would be needed, ' said a spokesperson.

'This will take into account the potential future constraints in the engineering sector.'

See rail special, p18.

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