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Pickers Grab Over 20% More As Wages Elsewhere Continue To Fall

Order pickers have picked up a hefty increase in salary according to catering, driving, industrial and office specialist staffing agency Blue Arrow. The recruiter’s October sector report revealed that pickers are now earning a massive 20.7% more than at the same time last year, with their average salary rising from £16,295 to £19,672.

When it came to the transport and logistics sector as a whole, though, pickers remained well behind class 1 drivers (£29,160), class 2 drivers (£24,739) and forklift drivers (£22,043), as well as the industry average of £27,435, which actually fell 0.8% from £27,654 a year earlier.

The drop in average salary was also reflected across other sectors. The biggest decrease was experienced in hospitality and catering, where average earnings fell 2.2% from £23,653 to £23,128. Waiters/bartenders were the hardest hit, seeing their earnings decrease from £20,242 to £18,551, a drop of 8.4%. Head chefs not only received the biggest pay increase in the sector but also remained the best paid, with a 6.9% rise seeing their earnings jump from £30,629 to £32,731.

It’s all about customer service in the admin and secretarial sector, with call centre advisors and customer service advisors experiencing the biggest pay increases at 5.4% and 6% respectively. However, their average salaries of £17,211 and £18,594 lagged well behind the industry average of £23,889, which had fallen 6% from £24,038 the previous year. With average earnings of £27,813, up 4.7%, P.A.s remained the best-paid professionals in the sector.

The only one of Blue Arrow’s specialist sectors to see a rise in average earnings was the manufacturing and production sector – and at 0.1%, it’s nominal. Production operatives enjoyed the biggest increase in salary, of 6.4%, from £16,198 to £17,277. However, this still left them at just under half the industry average of £35,807. A 3.2% increase saw fitters’ average salary rise to £29,811 and they remained the best-paid in all regions except the South East, Northern Ireland and Yorkshire, where that privilege went to welders (average salary £26,754).

Focusing on the most sought-after job roles within the hospitality and catering; transport and logistics; manufacturing and production; and admin and secretarial sectors, Blue Arrow’s unique reports feature salary analysis, job demand levels and average salaries by every UK region.

Toni Richards, Marketing Director, said: “Things are certainly looking up for pickers as we enter the busy festive period. Although they’re still earning well below the industry average, a huge 20.7% hike in salary brings them considerably closer – and it will certainly help massively in the run-up to Christmas.”

Although the average salary fell in three of the four sectors covered by the monthly reports – and saw only a marginal increase in hospitality and catering – the signs are that earnings could be undergoing something of a revival. Richards continued: “In all three sectors which produced a lower average salary year-on-year, the drops were significantly less pronounced than those from September 2015 to September 2016. As the market continues to flatten, we hope to start seeing some of these drops level out and finally, turn to increases as we enter the new year.”

Take a look at October’s sector reports here: Sector Reports

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