Pay weighting call to attract top staff to city

Unprecedented demand for staff in Edinburgh and dramatically rising living
costs and house prices are leading to calls for a "weighting" element
to be included in salary costs to attract staff.

Unemployment levels are among the lowest in the UK at 2.7 per cent while job
creation is at an all time peak as financial services, Internet-related
businesses and the impact of the Scottish Parliament are all playing their part
in creating a boom in the city.

The inflationary effect, which has been in place for some time among
employees in greatest demand in IT, is spreading to all levels with a marked
difference occurring at the level of administrative worker.

UK-wide employment firm, Time Recruitment, believes that there are signs of
a weighting element being added to Edinburgh wages to attract staff at a time
of shortages.

It says salaries in Aberdeen two years ago were the highest in Scotland due
to the oil industry, but this has now changed with Edinburgh taking the lead
over other Scottish cities.

But Edinburgh-based recruitment firm, The Reach Consultancy, thinks that
"the market will sort itself out".

Chris Jackson, chairman of the group, thinks that "there is evidence of
a differential occurring between Edinburgh and other Scottish cities.

"We know that salaries in Edinburgh are between 10 and 12 per cent
higher than in Glasgow at all levels and this has largely been fuelled by
financial services.

"But I do think that if the market overheats then future expansion is
unlikely as employers will transfer many of these jobs, such as call centres,
to other UK locations rather than pay a weighted salary."

Jackson also believes this is the time for "companies to be more
aggressive in training school leavers and training them properly so that there
are sufficient staff to counteract such boom periods."

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