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Local workforce is key to UK firms in Romania and Bulgaria

News

THE FUTURE success of UK companies bidding for work in the European Union (EU) accession countries of Romania and Bulgaria will depend on their ability to recruit and train local staff, engineers in the region said this week.

Infrastructure investment in both countries is set to soar following their accession into the EU on 1 January 2007.

But, engineers said that accession would allow these countries more autonomy when carrying out internationallyfunded contracts, leading to them being done according to local practice.

'In the future, work will be carried out by local staff in local entities. After accession more work will be done in Romanian, rather than English, ' said Mott MacDonald director Richard Moult.

Hiring local staff could pose a challenge for consultants if engineers seek to move out of the country to work in other EU member states. However, local consultants told NCE that there is no lack of skilled workers.

'It is a pretty good market for engineers. Romania has a young and growing population, with a lot of students coming through university, ' said Halcrow regional managing director Europe Roger Hode.

British Consultants and Contractors Bureau director for Europe and the Americas Nigel Peters said that UK companies looking to work with local firms and break into the market will find it tough.

'There are only a certain number of good local partners.

Local firms are loathe to commit to one company.

UK firms will find it hard to develop ways to access local resources.

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