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Scaffolders highest paid in construction industry

Average construction worker’s weekly pay packet up 2.4 per cent from last year according to ONS survey

SCAFFOLDERS topped the pay scale in the construction industry with an average salary of £26,047 in 2003, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics.

Their salaries rose by 5.9 per cent in the last year, it was reported in the ONS'New Earnings Survey, published last week.

Gary Gallagher, chair of the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation's technical committee, said: 'This is unsurprising, because there is a massive shortage of scaffolders. It is perceived as a difficult and dangerous game, and it is very difficult to get young people to sign up.'

The average gross salary in the construction industry rose by double the average UK rate last year. A typical construction worker earned £25,336 in the year to April 2003, a 4.3 per cent rise from £24,693 in 2002.

The average wage across all industries rose 2.4 per cent to £25,170, compared with £24,603 in 2002.

The average construction worker's weekly pay packet of £484.10 was also marginally above the £475.80 figure across all industries and services.

Plumbers and heating and ventilating engineers were the second most lucrative occupations, with an average salary of £23,751. Steel erectors came close behind at £23,631.

Carpenters and joiners picked up £20,428 - with a 5.6 per cent jump in salaries, while bricklayers and masons picked up £19,950.

But glaziers, window fabricators and fitters saw a 2 per cent fall in wages in 2003 to £17,187 - the lowest paid of all the trades.