Hays Construction and Property propose a change of scenery

Q: What's going on?

A: Construction activity has stepped up throughout East Anglia, with many new-build projects coming onstream to meet demand from people moving to the area as a lifestyle choice. With new settlements planned, this will continue, creating many jobs with all the big developers and contractors.

Q: What are the major projects?

A: There is a surge of activity with the regeneration of the docks in Ipswich, which involves residential and commercial development, and is creating a demand for project management and engineers. Then, phase two of the £500m Colchester Garrison starts later this month and will run until 2009. At the peak of phase one, about 1600 people were employed, and there will be at least 600 vacancies on the next phase. The £750m Anglian Water Amp 4 project, due to finish in 2010, is recruiting quantity surveyors, site agents and engineers. And a £290m healthcare PFI project in Peterborough is nearing financial close.

Q: Who is most in demand?

A: Engineers are highly sought after, particularly on a permanent basis. But many are keen to work freelance to maintain a higher basic salary. Estimators and quantity surveyors are also at a premium.

Q: How much would I get paid?

A: Salaries are above average, although only senior candidates earn well above the norm. We recently filled a position for a senior quantity surveyor in Cambridge, with five to 10 years of design-and-build and traditional build experience. The successful candidate had an HNC in construction, a degree in quantity surveying, and worked in London. The position had a salary of £45,000, and a car, bonuses and 25 days holiday.

Q: How far would my salary go?

  • Pint of Adnam’s Ale: £2.20
  • Local fish and chips: about £3.50
  • Ticket to Norwich City football game: £23
  • Four-person barge holiday on Norfolk Broads for a week in July: £500