Chinese and UK engineering firms start skills exchange

Aaron Morby 9 years ago

Leading engineering bodies from China and the UK have signed a deal to pave the way for construction consultants and contractors in both countries to exchange staff and share skills.

Engineering consultant Mott MacDonald will be the first UK firm to take part with an employee from the China Railway Construction Company joining its Manchester office next month for a three month placement.

It plans to place other Chinese employees into its UK offices and is exploring opportunities for Mott MacDonald staff to work in China.

The Employee Exchange Scheme agreement was signed by the Institution of Civil Engineers and the China International Contractors Association at a business event in China today.

The formal signing of the two-way staff secondment deal was witnessed by Lord O’Neil, UK Commercial Secretary to the Treasury and UK Chancellor George Osborne.

Earlier this week, the Chancellor announced a raft of initiatives aimed to increase China/UK collaboration on infrastructure, including a £2bn government guarantee to underwrite Chinese investment in Hinkley power station, and a co-funded £50m cutting-edge nuclear research centre to be based in the UK.

ICE Director General, Nick Baveystock, said: “China’s interest in UK infrastructure reflects the strength of the UK market.

“China also has a huge infrastructure programme and high demand for engineering expertise, which UK engineers are keen to support.

“As such ICE and CHINCA have joined forces to develop a scheme that will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and skills between UK and Chinese companies, and help to pave the way for wider collaboration between the two countries.”

Vice Chairman of CHINCA, Madam Wang He, added: “The economic and trade cooperation between China and Britain has being continuously enhanced over recent years, for which the cooperation in infrastructure and energy sector plays important role.

“This Employee Exchange Scheme by CHINCA and ICE, is aiming to set up a platform for companies of both sides to make better mutual understanding.

“We hope the companies can achieve all-round collaboration in technology, management and commerce sectors based on this scheme, and develop the infrastructure investment and construction opportunities together in both countries and other third country markets.”

Keith Howells, Mott MacDonald Group Chairman said: “Continued collaboration with Chinese companies both in China and abroad is a key part of our strategy.”

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