As the economy recovers, there are calls for visa rules to be relaxed in order to smooth the path of the architect, engineer or QS from outside Europe who wants to work here
Asked to consider foreign workers coming to work in UK construction, many will think of the vast number of Poles who came here from the late nineties, usually impressing us with their building, plumbing and carpentry skills, and their work ethic.
But a different type of foreign worker has also helped shape the sector in recent decades. As Rider Levett Bucknall chair Ann Bentley says in this week’s news analysis on skills, highly-skilled professionals from countries further afield such as Australia and South Africa have made a significant contribution to consultants like her firm in the past.
And so it is that as the economy recovers, there are growing calls for visa rules to be relaxed once more in order to smooth the path of the architect, engineer or QS from outside Europe who wants to work here.
This should benefit homegrown as well as overseas talent, given the increasingly global nature of UK consultants’ work. As AHMM’s Simon Allford says, these employees represent “ambassadors, who can help you win work all over the world”.
Will Hurst, assistant editor