Manufacturing sector pay and reward benchmarking

Published by Rodney Sutton on 9 August 2021

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On the back of the initial impetus from Dave Bain, MD of Colorcon, it’s been fascinating working with members of the Kent Manufacturing Forum to construct a pay survey for a number of key roles.

Labour is a key challenge in the sector in terms of attraction, recruitment, and retention and whilst Kent Manufacturers are embracing further education and investment in kit, it’s clear that people remain a critical asset in the SME segment.

Thank you to the many who provided input enabling the following feedback.

  Non-weighted Averages£PA  (Min/Max)
Production Service Engineer 20.6k 17.4k – 32.0k
Highly Skilled Engineer
Precision engineering type roles but excludes management.
40.0k 35.1k – 45.0k
Warehouse Operator
Max warehouse pay generally includes a forklift licence.
22.8k 16.7k – 29.0k
Quality Control Analyst
Top-end of QCA roles covers high-end products destined for the medical sector, etc.
27.2k 17.4k – 37.0k

Without doubt, there are numerous and varied job descriptions within each heading, but hopefully, this guide will enable a degree of benchmarking.

I’m constantly talking to Kent manufacturers as they seek ways to improve profitability and business value. Feel free to join the conversation…”
Rodney Sutton – Advisory and Assurance Partner, and Head of Manufacturing

The survey has also thrown up the desire to avoid staff churn – which is expensive and disruptive. Many SMEs are providing healthy pension contributions, four-figure bonuses, healthcare membership, life cover, uniforms/PPE and up to 28 days holiday.

Along with supply chain challenges (price & logistics), staff remain a huge focus. For any SME rebuilding its value and its balance sheet post-COVID, it will need to protect and enhance production capability and hardworking, knowledgeable, and motivated people will play a major role.

In my conversations with the survey participants; I’m convinced Kent Manufacturers are rebuilding enterprise value… we’re bouncing back!”
Shaun Kelly, Corporate Finance Consultant

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