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ricbax

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About ricbax

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  1. I think you're doing pretty well for a recent grad. Small and medium sized companies in the north of England have in recent years offered graduate engineering starting salaries of well under £20k, and even senior engineers with 10-15 years experience struggle to make £30k (and make no mistake, you will be worked to the bone to make that figure). Opportunities for training and progression are pretty limited in these organisations as well. Of course, such companies aren't even on the radar when High Fliers are calculating their "average" salary figures. I decided I was better off leaving that environment and joining a big company on a non graduate apprenticeship scheme. Very low starting salary of course, (mid teens), but the salary progression makes up for it - and I enjoy the work a lot more too. I'm not quite on £30k yet, but I'm earning significantly more now than I was as a "grad" in a small firm, and there are plenty of overtime opportunities as well. I didn't know when I started my degree that I wasn't of the calibre to make it onto a top-dollar graduate scheme, but my degree was a: enjoyable, and b: cheap, so no great loss. If I was starting uni this year, though, I'd be shafted.
  2. This kind of nonsense has been trotted out every year since I graduated (2003), and probably many years prior to that too. The figures pertain to a very small, select set of jobs - jobs that are offered to such a small percentage of each year's graduates that their significance to the "average" university graduate is practically meaningless. You may as well talk about "driving jobs" using earnings figures obtained from Formula 1 racing drivers. The forthcoming increases in tuition fees, coupled with the vast increase in student loan interest rates for 2012 borrowers, mean that it's hardly worth applying for university unless you're one of the tiny percentage of people who can secure these top jobs after graduation. 99% of people, including myself would be financially far better off not going.
  3. That's London, though, innit? (And a few highly posh places, like Windsor.) I can't imagine there's a bidding war going on for rentals in most of the UK.
  4. "politics of envy" towards a guy on the dole... how does that work? Sticks in my craw a bit that a guy who probably would have regarded unemployed people like the shit on his shoe during his successful years, is now writing about it as though he has a unique insight into something no human being has ever before experienced. In a sense it has the upbeat tone of a broadsheet article where the journo has decided to try the dole for a week or two so he can tell his middle class professional readers what a jolly jape it all is. He hasn't quite cottoned on to the fact that maybe his world has changed for good, and it's now his turn to be the shit on somebody else's shoe for a change.
  5. My eyes popped out at those figures for a second, until I realised they're talking about average earnings of people who actually buy houses in these towns, not average earnings for the towns as a whole. So it makes it a bit meaningless really.
  6. Johann Hari's article summed it up for me. Crazy place, strip away the veneer and filthy lucre and it's basically North Korea in the sand. http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/comme...ai-1664368.html The ex-pats who choose to settle there seem to be especially disgusting and obnoxious. Boorish racist Brits, Aussies and others who have no problem, it would seem, with the concept of slave ownership.
  7. Durham Born, if the job is anywhere near Durham (or anywhere in the North East really) I will bite your boss's hand off for it. I have no children or mortgage and get no income support, only JSA, so it's well worth me taking it at £371 take home. I know this undermines the point you were trying to make, but hey, I want a job and I'm not afraid to ask for one. If there are any other jobs going I'm sure I can rustle up a few other people in a similar position...
  8. Ha ha. Here in Newcastle I see plenty of people driving around in nine-year-plus old vehicles (that's "Y" reg and earlier, yes?) but somehow I don't think they'll all be queuing up to buy new vehicles, even with £2,000 off the purchase price. No, it's just another hare-brained scheme dreamed up by an overprivileged muppet who "struggles by" on a six-figure salary and has absolutely no idea how Joe and Josephine Average live their lives. Some have suggested this scheme may "help the environmental cause". How, exactly? Is, say, a 2000 model Toyota Yaris really that much more polluting than its 2009 equivalent? And what if I were to trade in that "old" Yaris to get a £2000 discount off a SUV?
  9. Indeed. £25K-£28K is actually way above average for a recent graduate still in their 20s (according to Brown and Hesketh's "The Mismanagement of Talent"), yet if that grad was renting privately somewhere like London, they'd probably be worse off than a minimum wage worker who either lived in social housing or owned their home outright. Any measure of "poverty" that doesn't take these factors into account is a joke.
  10. I was made redundant recently and can't find another job for love nor money in this climate, so I guess I'm one of the "lazy sh*ts" you write about. Thanks. Anyway, increasing the dole from £60 a week to £600 a week still wouldn't persuade me to vote for this bunch of c**ts.
  11. Either that, or the article was written by an overpaid London numpty who has absolutely no idea how much most people in Britain actually earn and how they live. Like the "lifestyle" and "fashion" pieces in these newspapers where all the items of clothing cost three-figure sums. £500 a week to rent a house? A mere trifle, dahling. In reality, in many parts of the north of England £400 a month to rent a flat would be considered expensive, and £500 a month is in "3 bed house in nice area" territory. Towns with high unemployment where the average salary is perhaps £16k a year can't really sustain higher rents than that.
  12. Where is this "work" going to come from, exactly, when unemployment is still rising (currently 2 million, set to rise to 3) and the ratio of unemployed people to vacant jobs is anything from 10:1 to 60:1? Great timing, guys. I presume the Tories are not planning to increase public sector recruitment to fill this particular hole. Plenty of jobs around?! Er, not any more. Been in a job centre lately? To be honest, in many parts of Britain there weren't "plenty of jobs" even during the supposed "boom". Full employment (as was the case in the 1950s for example) is a very distant memory in many northern towns, something for our grandfathers to get misty-eyed about. I daresay there are lots of "Alright Jacks" who are still in well-paid work and consider themselves morally superior to benefit claimants. If current forecasts are correct, a significant percentage of these smug people will be very sorry, very soon.
  13. I think that actually understates the situation. Most graduates even during the boom times didn't get jobs paying anywhere near 20k. The 25k "average graduate starting salary" quoted by the likes of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, only applied to the 5% or so of graduates who got into blue chip graduate schemes. The average starting salary for all graduates back in 2004 was something like 13k, and I doubt if it's significantly higher now. To those who have been in professional employment for a long time, 25k may seem like a fairly normal or even low salary, but for the majority of young people starting out at the bottom in today's climate, such a high salary seems ridiculously unattainable. Only very highly skilled individuals (the cream of their generation) would be able to get a job paying this much on graduation.
  14. Huh? Average salaries in the UK haven't doubled since 2003, that's absolutely insane! Wages have barely kept up with official inflation figures, let alone real inflation ffs. And as for "almost everyone with a job" - right, so someone who was earning £18k in 2003 is on £36k for doing the exact same job now?
  15. Interesting how they claim themselves to be "Europe's largest shopping centre" when both Bluewater and the MetroCentre are bigger.
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