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Shock at low pay for high skill

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brian jones 1105/07/2021 15:15:41
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I was shocked to discover what low pay can be expected as an experienced CNC setter operator - even with some programming experience - £25

barely above minimum wage

I know of a young lad - not the brightest on 4 legs, but big strong and willing to please - worked his way up from 19 as a temp in a Supermarket hub warehouse stayed on got his fork lift ticket at 21 by which time he was on £15 ph @60hrs w full staff benefits. Management so pleased with such a model employee, tried to promote him upwards but he begged them to leave him at his level as he didnt want supervisor responsibility with man management (he's not so dumb then)

So thats £45k pa - for an incredibly repetitive boring job (mind he is a bit autistic)

I could quote a similar experience for a young girl 21 promoted to £12ph inside 6months at Amazon and was heading for supervisor role. She enjoyed the dumb repetitive rules driven environment and was doing well but he car crash private life ruined that

Then compare that with the skill and knowledge needed to set up a cnc m/c

or is the real skill with the designer / programmer?

Am I missing something?

Michael Gilligan05/07/2021 15:20:08
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18734 forum posts
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Posted by brian jones 11 on 05/07/2021 15:15:41:

I was shocked to discover what low pay can be expected as an experienced CNC setter operator - even with some programming experience - £25

barely above minimum wage

[…]

Am I missing something?

dont know

**LINK**

https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

MichaelG.

JasonB05/07/2021 15:21:42
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Depends what the setter operator has to do. If it's undo vice and remove completed part, place block of metal in vice and tighten, press run, repeat then there is not a lot of skill required for that.

The guys doing the CAM and loading teh tools into holders will likely get more.

pgk pgk05/07/2021 15:28:01
2298 forum posts
293 photos

I'm a little confused. Not many folk work 60hr weeks any more (when i started it was that plus a couple of nights a week on duty for any emergencies). Compared to minimum wage £15/h for warehousing doesn't seem so bad.
Is the CNC guy on £25/h or £25K per year? And how many hours?

pgk

BOB BLACKSHAW05/07/2021 15:45:10
425 forum posts
104 photos

I was at Skegness last week and spotted a advert on a pub window, £10 per hour for bar staff. I thought that is good money , but it could be a few hours per day. I think my best years for earning money for fine limit sweetmeats work was in the early 90s, after that it seemed to drop off.

Bob

Martin Kyte05/07/2021 15:59:52
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Wages have never been about how skilled the job is but how much bargaining power the workforce can exert. Sometimes this is in the form of rarity/availabilty (footballers), demand for service (maybe doctors), monopoly of services (such as lawyers), collective bargaining (the rest of us). The last only holds to a certain extent as there is always the option of closing the industry and going abroad for whatever it is.

regards Martin

derek hall 105/07/2021 16:01:15
166 forum posts

We have a fair number of assemblers building fairly complex electro-mechanical equipment and they do a 40 hour week for about £12 an hour.

Most of the work looks (and is) repetitive and tedious, however most are happy with working 10 hours a day Monday to Thursday and having every Friday off. They say they go in auto mode and other than chatting to each other during work, most of them are not seeking more challenging or responsible jobs even when it is offered.

Horses for courses I guess.

Regards

Derek

Tony Pratt 105/07/2021 17:49:04
1648 forum posts
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What constantly amazes me is the wage train drivers seem to get.

Tony

pgk pgk05/07/2021 18:01:54
2298 forum posts
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It's not just wages, it's the work ethic. Were I only able to get a £12/h job I'd be working overtime or a second job as a younger man. Back in the day I was on a decent salary but still used to use my holiday time to go do locum jobs until my boss figured it was easier just to pay me double and let me stay working for the 'holiday'. That and being frugal was how I ended up with my own shop.
There's something inherently wrong with low wages and then social welfare top-ups. Essentially that is a subsidy for the employer - Hospitality sector in particular.

pgk

Ady105/07/2021 18:34:33
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Always hard to find a balance in a dynamic environment like employment

Workers with too much power gave us the bonkers 70s

Bosses with too much power gave us the bonkers 80s

 

Governments real job is to smooth the curve, not pick sides

Employers claim "not enough staff" but they are looking for 2 x 20 hour part timers and no PAYE, not a proper 40 hour a week employee

Edited By Ady1 on 05/07/2021 18:36:59

brian jones 1105/07/2021 18:44:34
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Posted by Tony Pratt 1 on 05/07/2021 17:49:04:

What constantly amazes me is the wage train drivers seem to get.

Tony

Indeed up to £85k. I knew a Southern rail ticket inspector guard lady 20 years ago with OT and unsocial hours she was on mega bucks 20 years ago

I knew a man in his 30s worked for BnQ as a stock auditor - sound good he was on £19k for night shift had to use his own car for a very mean allowance. his boss promoted him, but it took him out of the universal credit level and he lost £5k in benefits and all kinds of allowances. he begged manager no to promote him, but manager said its the rules, so he left to find a minimum wage job to keep him in the benefits. he had two children and a student wife to support.

But really what chance have you got on minimum wage. It was the case when you could get a 90% mortgage on 3.5x salary - say £25K = £75k. If you were a couple it was 4x combined income say £40k = £160K Can you buy a house for that money when the average is £275k. Something very wrong. Rental is £750-1000 pm for a couple thats nearly half disposable income.

Calum Galleitch05/07/2021 18:49:52
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Posted by Tony Pratt 1 on 05/07/2021 17:49:04:

What constantly amazes me is the wage train drivers seem to get.

They are probably paid a bit higher than you'd expect, but on the other hand it isn't just drive in the right direction and follow the signs, and you can easily be responsible for 1000+ pax. With jobs like that, a big element of the pay is to make sure that you can eliminate financial stresses and strains in your private life, so you don't turn up at work with steam coming out your ears because you've been fighting with your SO about childcare and who does the hoovering.

Mike Poole05/07/2021 19:05:04
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As the car worker was replaced by robots and automation so will be the train driver. Eventually automation becomes value for money especially as an automatic train can run 24/7 without shift premium or overtime.

Mike

Edited By Mike Poole on 05/07/2021 19:06:55

ChrisB05/07/2021 19:12:27
645 forum posts
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It's all about supply and demand, I can talk about aircraft engineers contractors, pre covid rates were in the region of 38£ph, but that crashed down to 25 for those lucky enough to secure a contract.

Similar to train drivers, pilots and engineers there is an element of responsibility in a highly regulated work. Maintenance records are kept and your responsibility will at times linger for years.

duncan webster05/07/2021 19:14:48
3456 forum posts
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£25/hour full time is about £49K/year. This is not bad money, bearing in mind you get paid holidays and pension contributions in with that. Medion salary in UK is £31.5K, so 50% up. Whilst I don't wish to comment on train drivers wages I would point out that they have to work rubbish shifts and need a great deal of route knowledge. You or I couldn't just jump in and drive.

Ady105/07/2021 19:46:49
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The big money now is in the pension value which with a final celery scheme can be greater than the value of your home nowadays

Bazyle05/07/2021 19:47:01
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Area of the country makes a huge difference unless your union has forced a flat rate whereby those in London get screwed by costs and those in junksville ride high.
Age/experience should still count for something, even on the exact same job an older person will add more value.
It is only a few train drivers that get the big bucks also route dependent.

Is CNC programming really that difficult? Compare to teacher which is a good middle of the road skillset with requirement for degree. Remember > 50% of kids now get degrees even though it may be in Media Studies.
Programming is not that difficult. Loads of kids do it quite well in their teens but it is very time consuming. That is why kids are able to do it as a hobby when adults don't (unless they have no social life). There is also a marked difference in the programming world between a 'coder' and a programmer (aka system architect).

derek hall 105/07/2021 19:49:09
166 forum posts
Posted by brian jones 11 on 05/07/2021 18:44:34:

But really what chance have you got on minimum wage. It was the case when you could get a 90% mortgage on 3.5x salary - say £25K = £75k. If you were a couple it was 4x combined income say £40k = £160K Can you buy a house for that money when the average is £275k. Something very wrong. Rental is £750-1000 pm for a couple thats nearly half disposable income.

Off topic I know, but I always wondered about when and why that connection between average salary x 3 = what you could have has a mortgage was done away with. It was the link between affordable houses but now its virtually impossible for first time buyers, especially in Cambridge.

Regards

Derek

J Hancock05/07/2021 19:49:33
699 forum posts

Quite so DW , but by having this interest ( ME) I did manage to avert what may have been a serious accident

happening at a Doncaster Works public open day in 1983ish.

I was in the cab of a D55 and noticed it was moving ..............!

I found the hand brake wheel and wound it down , now how many would know that ?

Oven Man05/07/2021 19:57:18
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Posted by Tony Pratt 1 on 05/07/2021 17:49:04:

What constantly amazes me is the wage train drivers seem to get.

Tony

Watch some of the you tube videos of train journeys from to cab view, and you begin to realise that train drivers really do earn their keep. It's 100% concentration all of the time. A dam site more stessfull than driving a road vehicle.

Peter

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