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Structures consultants diversify

Consultants hit by the downturn in the property markets are diversifying into new markets and recruiting new staff, despite having to make redundancies in other areas.

Structures firm Buro Happold, said this week that it was setting up a rail team. It will focus on public and private sector projects involving station, bridge and building design, ground engineering and coastal defence work.

“Experts from across Buro Happold’s disciplines are being brought together to create the new rail team but we have an ambitious growth plan that could well require additional people joining the team in the medium-term,” said Buro Happold rail director Tony Small.

Despite having to make a further 500 job cuts in the property sector, mainly in the UK and abroad, WSP chief executive Chris Cole said this week that it was still recruiting in key sectors.

“We’re recruiting in the public sector in the UK, especially in areas like rail, in parts of northern Europe, Africa and in the public sector in America, particularly on the back of [President] Obama’s initiatives,” said Cole. “Diversification is working and gives resilience in times like now,” he added.

Consultant Ramboll Whitbybird cut around 50 jobs in the UK and the Middle East last year. It now wants to recruit up to 75 structural and geotechnical engineers for its newly established oil and gas division (NCE 6 November 2008).

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