07 September 2000 | Liam O'Brien
Pay rises for purchasing professionals are running at more than double the rate of inflation, according to the latest salary survey from Purcon Consultants.
Average pay rose by 7.9 per cent in the year to June, taking mean salaries for the whole industry to £32,077. This compares to the retail price index rise of 3.3 per cent over the same period and average pay rises in manufacturing of 4 per cent.
The pay for managers with strategic responsibility and handling up to 30 staff shows the most marked rise, of 12.7 per cent. The average pay at this level is now £52,349, reflecting the strong demand for such candidates and the use of higher salaries to attract the right applicants, said Purcon.
Those at the top of the sector - purchasing directors heading the function in large companies - saw average salaries rise by 8.4 per cent, to £74,837.
The survey found large differences in salaries across the country, with increases closely tracking the local economy.
London leads the field by a considerable margin, with average salaries rising by 12.3 per cent. The lowest rises were in the north-east, where increases averaged 2.1 per cent, followed by the south-west with an increase of 3.7 per cent. In the south-east and the Midlands, pay increased by 7.9 per cent.
Pay varied less across sectors. Service industries saw rises of 14 per cent at the top end, whereas automotive, consumer durables and construction were at the bottom with 8.6 per cent.
Sarah Lim, head of recruitment for UK and Ireland at Purcon Consultants, said that the survey's findings pointed to developing skills shortages, particularly at the middle and top end of the scale.
"There are not enough well qualified and suitably experienced people, and there are a lot of companies that are chasing them," she added.