Recruitment consultant Beresford Blake Thomas is looking for Arabic-speaking construction workers prepared to put in regular 70-hour weeks in the middle of the desert in Iraq.
Ed Twaite, an associate director at BBT, said some professionals in the building industry had shown an interest in the post-war reconstruction programme but the firm intended to be choosy because it was afraid that a few might have second thoughts after they had been there a few weeks.

He said: He said: "Essentially, they'll be in the middle of the desert, doing 60 to 70 hour weeks. We need to be 100% sure that the candidate is going to be able to deal with this."

Construction firms working in the region have asked BBT to begin looking for experienced staff. Its offices in Dubai and London are working on the project. It has also received a significant number of responses to advertisements on its website.

Twaite said it was confining its search to professionals with experience in working overseas. Workers who are fluent in Arabic were particularly in demand. He said some people were interested because it was a unique challenge.