Denis Lillie, a former director of Hyder Consulting, has been appointed construction project director for the 2010 World Cup finals, to be held in South Africa.

Lillie starts his job next week. He will be employed by the government of the Western Cape, where he runs his own consultancy, DLP Advisory and Management Services.

The construction programme for the World Cup is understood to have fallen behind schedule because of skills shortages.

Lillie has called for more link-ups between the South African government and UK professional bodies to enable more UK staff to assist in training in the region.

Lillie said: “There is a real problem in South Africa with regards to the exodus of qualified building professionals. The barriers of entry need to be de-restricted.”

• Architect HOK Sport is part of a team designing two stadiums for the competition, in Johannesburg and Mbombela. Consultant Davis Langdon has also been appointed on stadiums in Durban and Cape Town.