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Local workforce is key to UK firms in Romania and Bulgaria

FUTURE SUCCESS of UK companies bidding for work in the 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 European Union on 1 January 2007.But engineers said that accession would enable more autonomy in the countries which would lead to work being done in local languages according to local law.'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, but local consultants told NCE that the availability of engineers is good.'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 UK companies looking to work with local firms and break into the market would 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. In key markets this is exceedingly difficult,' he said.

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