Manager In Warehouse With Worker Scanning Box In Foreground

Pickers Profit in Pre-Christmas Rush

Order pickers earned 48.7% more in November 2016 than at the same stage last year according to Blue Arrow’s latest sector report, with average salaries leaping from £15,758 to £23,427.

Bizarrely, this massive upturn was very much the exception that proved the rule in the transport and logistics sector as a whole, where average earnings actually dropped 5.3% (from £28,802 to £27,273). Despite being the hardest hit, with a salary drop of 8.8% seeing their salaries dive from £32,401 to £29,558, class 1 drivers remained the best-paid professionals in the sector. Warehouse operatives which can encompass order picker duties suffered a drop, of 7.3%, which took their average salary from £19,171 to £17,768 – although their earnings reached a high of £26,008 in Scotland.

Average salaries also fell slightly in the manufacturing and production sector, from £36,016 to £35,772 (a drop of 0.7%). Fitters remained the best-paid (£32,018) despite a significant drop in earnings of 9.4%. However, their monthly salaries peaked at an impressive £44,550 in the South West. Welders were the only professionals to see an increase in salary, a rise of 2.5% taking their average pay packet to £25,940, and actually found themselves the best-paid in the South East and North East.

A fall in average earnings of 2.6% in the call centre, admin and secretarial sector (from £24,464 to £23,825) actually represented something of an upturn following the 6% drop from October 2015 to October 2016. Despite seeing their average salary drop marginally from £27,834 to £27,484 (1.3%), PAs remain the best-paid professionals in the sector. Call centre advisors experienced the biggest increase, of 8.1%, which saw their earnings rise from £16,555 to £17,890, although they still remain a way off the industry average.

Hospitality and catering was the only sector to experience a year-on-year rise in average salary (1.5%). Sous chefs enjoyed the biggest uplift as their wages grew 5.6% from £25,107 to £26,513, but head chefs remained in front with an average salary of £31,990, a rise of 3.7% from £30,847 at the same point last year. In fact, commis chefs were the only professionals to experience a decrease in wages. And at 0.7%, it was pretty marginal.

Focusing on the most sought-after job roles within the hospitality and catering; transport and logistics; manufacturing and production; and call centre, 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: “The massive uplift in wages for order pickers is symptomatic of demand outstripping supply. Competition is fierce across the UK for jobseekers with warehouse skills to keep up with growing consumption through online shopping in the build-up to Christmas.”

With over 60 branches across the UK, Blue Arrow provides bespoke specialist staffing services to clients across the hospitality, manufacturing, public service, retail, support services and transport sectors.

Download November’s reports here: Sector Reports

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