A number of engineering companies offer their graduates appealing benefits and cash incentives. We’ve rounded up some of the most tempting.
AKA joining bonus, welcome bonus, welcome package, golden hello, settling-in allowance. Call it what you like, a number of key engineering graduate employers lure students in with a lump sum on joining, while others split this into two or more payments when their graduates achieve certain milestones.
The Royal Navy offers a particularly attractive bonus of £27,000 given in three instalments upon passing certain stages of training. Meanwhile construction consultancy Atkins gives away £5,000 per graduate, split into two payments: half on joining, half on achieving professional qualification, typically three to five years later. BP offers a joining bonus of £3,000–£5,000, with Centrica not far behind at £3,000.
Airbus, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, Jaguar Land Rover, Metaswitch and Network Rail all provide a £2,000 joining bonus, while nucleargraduates and Caterpillar offer £1,000. Other employers, including Arup, Associated British Foods – Grocery and Mace, also offer a welcome bonus but don't disclose how much it is.
Many employers offer discretionary and performance-related bonuses once in the workplace. This includes:
- Atkins, an SNC-Lavalin business
- Dialog Semiconductor
- Johnson Matthey
- Laing O'Rourke
- Max Fordham
- Metaswitch Networks
- National Instruments
- UK Power Networks
Meanwhile, Arup states that it shares 40% of its profit with its employees and Mott MacDonald likes to stress that, as an employee-owned business, some of the profits return to employees via shares and performance-related pay.
For the boy (and girl!) racers
If you see yourself behind the wheel of a flash car, Bentley offers a car lease scheme to its employees, with access to cars from several of the Volkswagen Group brands. Ford Motor Company also offers a car privilege scheme and Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK offers a car ownership scheme. But Jaguar Land Rover is the winner of the fun work perks prize. Past induction weeks for graduates have included trying out the company’s vehicles on the race track or off-road. If you fall in love in the process, there’s an employee vehicle discount for you and selected family members.
It's not just automotive manufacturers that offer car-related perks though; BAE Systems offers a car lease scheme, for example, while Laing O'Rourke gives its graduates a car allowance.
OK, so the 07:18 to London Paddington doesn’t have the same glamour factor as putting the latest Jaguar XK through its paces on the track. But a season ticket could set you back thousands of pounds a year, so wouldn’t it be nice if your employer paid for it?
If you take up a graduate job with a transport company, it might do. Transport for London provides free travel on all TfL services for employees and their nominee and 75% off annual travel tickets for travel beyond the TfL network – plus an interest-free loan if you need help paying that remaining 25%. Network Rail also offers subsidies of up to 75% on rail and underground season tickets and an interest-free season ticket loan. FirstGroup offers free bus travel.
Some others engineering companies also offer season ticket loans, such as AECOM, Atkins, DSTL, Max Fordham and Mott MacDonald.
Location and relocation allowances
If the thought of relocating to an expensive part of the country is disturbing your peace of mind, look out for companies that will supplement their standard salaries with a location allowance for those in pricey areas. Engineering employers who will do this include BP and Network Rail.
Some employers also offer more unusual benefits than the classic cash incentives. For example, some employers offer services for the welfare of their employees. Rolls-Royce offers 24-hour confidential counselling services while Dialog Semiconductor offers on-site back massages. Bentley runs its own Be Fit health and fitness programme for its employees.
If your personal development is important for you, nucleargraduates gives its graduates their own personal training budget. Previous graduates have spent this on attending conferences all over the world and on training courses back in the UK.
If you want to enjoy a social side of work, many employers are keen to promote their company events and socials. For example, Metaswitch offers weekends away, sports activities and team events such as bowling and go-karting to its employees.
Alternatively, employers such as FirstGroup, the Science and Technology Facilities Council and Thames Water all offer their employees some form of discount at retailers such as supermarkets, high-street shops and electrical retailers.
If you see yourself working for the same company for a long time, Thames Water hands out loyalty awards to employees who have served 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years at the company.
Finally, if you want to be rewarded for doing your bit for the environment, National Instruments offers an environmental allowance of up to £420 a year for employees who commit to walking, car sharing or using public transport to get to and from work for 75% of each month. Several employers, including AECOM and Siemens give their employees paid time off work to volunteer.
Pick and mix
Prefer to pick your own benefits? Lots of companies offer flexible benefits packages so that you can. Arm offers a FlexPot and both E.ON and Siemens offer a selection of benefits (think dental cover, travel insurance, car breakdown cover etc); employees choose those that most appeal. Arup gives its employees a flexible benefits fund to buy benefits such as gym discounts and iPads or take as cash to top up their salary. Meanwhile, BAE Systems offers its employees the option to take 20% of their annual salary up front.