Prospects for writers in UK

Subject: Prospects for writers in UK
From: John Sheridan Smith <John -at- SHERIDAN -dot- DEMON -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 1994 20:37:18 +0000

Recently, a leading UK documentation recruitment agency published a survey of
employment prospects for IT documentation staff. The survey was based on
replies from 28 companies out of 290 polled.

The resulting report covers only the position in the UK but the main points
might be of interest authors elsewhere.

The main findings were:

Projected Recruitment levels

25% of respondents planned no recuitment in the next 12 months.
39% had recruited no documentation staff in the previous 12 months.

Ratio of Development Staff to Writers
26% of firms employed 15 or more developers to 1 author.
50% of the firms replying employed between 5 & 10 development staff to 1

Skills required
The report summarised the skills which the firms said they looked for.
An amalgamated order of priority listed them as:-

1 Writing ability
2 Interpersonal skills
3 IT training
4 DTP skill
5 Windows knowledge
6 Hypertext/Multimedia
8 Other specific technology

70% of the respondents said their main salary bracket for authors was
16,000 - 20,000 pounds per year.

44% said that they paid lower salaries to authors than to development staff.

57% of prospective recruitment was in London and South Eastern Engand (the
most prosperous and densely populated area of the country.

Recruitment Methods
86% of firms expecting to recruit would do so through a recruitment agency.

* John Sheridan Smith * Try everything once, except incest and *
* Software Technical Author * folk dacing. *
* Cardiff (at home) * (Sir Arnold Bax) *

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