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Graduate lawyers

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Graduate lawyers are being given starting salaries as a high as £ 150,000 as pay inflation hits its highest level in 20 years, according to a recruiter.

Alan Bannatyne, chief financial officer at recruitment consultancy Robert Walters, said some firms are increasing their salaries by up to 50 per cent amid a ‘fierce competition for talent’.

Newly certified lawyers at the most renowned companies are even earning a maximum of £ 147,000 before bonuses, reports the BBC.

City banks are also among those raising graduate’s salaries, while supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Lidl and Aldi have boosted wages to at least £ 10 an hour.

The rise in salaries follows openings for law associates in London increasing around 131 per cent year-on-year between January and November 2021, according to figures from analytics firm Vacancysoft and recruiter BCL Legal.

Overall, job adverts hit a record high in the run-up to Christmas, with 210,000 vacancies posted in the UK between November 22 and 28, taking the total to 3.51million active postings.

The pandemic has prompted what economists have dubbed ‘the great resignation’ after scores of workers reassessed their employment during lockdown, leaving their jobs to change careers, or seeking a higher wage elsewhere.

Last summer, a study from HR software firm Personio found that 38 per cent of surveyed workers in the UK and Ireland planned to leave their job in the next six months to a year.

Mr. Bannatyne said: ’15 percent is the minimum wage increase that we are seeing, but some are increasing their wages by much as 50 percent.

“Unless something significant happens, 2022 should be even better for staff.”

The recruiting firm also predicted a ‘huge’ bonus pool in sectors like law and banking this year.

But its CFO added: “Traditional retailers and airlines have had a lot of problems, so they probably won’t pay bonuses or give salary increase.”

Robert Walters said its net fee income increased 39 percent worldwide towards the end of last year, with a staff shortage evident globally.

Meanwhile, a study by the Confederation of Recruitment and Employment (REC) showed that the biggest growth in job postings before Christmas was for prison and scaffolding officers, as well as dentists and veterinarians.

Quick Facts

  • Robert Walters’ chief financial officer said some firms increasing wages by 50%
  • Some law graduates are even earning a maximum of £147,000 before bonuses
  • Supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi have boosted wages to at least £10 an hour
  • Job adverts hit a record high of 3.51million across the UK in run-up to Christmas


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