Lethaby & Cook – News Update

Civil and Structures:

There’s good news on salaries from our civil & structural division and confirmation that the employment scene remains buoyant, despite all the recent political upheaval.

Job offers from our clients in the consulting sector, whose fees have remained highly competitive since the financial crash, have shown an improvement across the board.

The silver lining of the continuing skills shortage is the opportunity to change career direction and gain experience in new fields. Some of the country’s leading building structures engineers are looking closely at promising candidates with transferrable expertise.

This has accounted for nearly a third of our placements in the building and development infrastructure sector, with these moves being especially viable for engineers with a few years’ experience up to intermediate level.

There is some evidence from our clients that developers and corporations are putting projects “on hold” as they seek a clearer indication of the UK’s future trading status. However, much work is going ahead as usual and a shortage of talent means good prospects for civil and structural engineers prevail.

Finally, congratulations to all the talented engineers we placed this quarter and thanks for the continuing support of our clients, we hope you all enjoy a well earned summer break.

Paul Cook

T: 07901 005960
E: paul@lethabyandcook.co.uk

M&E Division:

The M&E Division of Lethaby & Cook has seen a slow down in recent weeks after a buoyant start to the year when the biggest challenge was satisfying clients requirements.

There has been a widely unpredictable raise in contract pay rates that has forced suppliers to reduce margins and has caused issues for M&E contracting companies who are trying to complete work set on budgets from the original tender process that may have been up to 2 years ago.

The biggest issue from our point of view has been high contract rates for what is often mediocre labour, particularly in Central London. This leaves us in a position where there is a potential to pay high rates on low margins to satisfy a client who is under financial pressure; it’s not an ideal scenario for client or supplier.

On a more positive note, our established base of clients continue to back our honesty and integrity with regards to good quality labour, paying fair rates to good contract staff whilst offering them continued medium to long term projects.

The permanent sector of our business is continuing to make steady progress, with several good quality candidates being placed in exciting new roles that are suitable for career progression.

In an uncertain marketplace, good quality candidates are often reticent to change career in the short term and for our clients to make new senior appointments, they need to offer exciting project challenges and career development rather than just pound signs.

Of course, finance is and always will be, the driving factor behind career changes but we are finding more and more that skilled people in the M&E sector are looking for autonomy at work and the ability to be able to develop with a co-operative profit sharing outlook to business, rather than being just a number in a big PLC with a fat cat sat at the top, enjoying he cream.

This puts medium sized M&E contractors in a good position to appoint incentive led individuals who are driven by the opportunity to be a key figure in company growth.

Bob Lethaby


T: 07956 537076

E: bob@lethabyandcook.co.uk