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What helped in your decision to pursue a career in the UK rather than your home country?

Barbara Chomicka Associate, EC Harris I originate from Poland but decided to move to the UK in 2003 to gain access to some of the best doctoral courses in the world. However, my reasons for staying are

far more complex. Not least of which was the fact I was impressed by the extent to which the UK – and the UK construction industry – is striving for greater gender parity, a narrower pay gap, and a sensible approach to working parenthood. Another attraction lay in the values of

integrity and excellence that employers in this country stand by, both from a moral as well as a regulatory perspective. Ultimately my professional goal is to help improve working practices across the industry, and that means committing to my adopted country for the longer term.

Natacha Redon MCIOB, Project manager / BIM co-ordinator at Identity Consult As I'm half French and half Austrian and my dad was in the army, I'm used to travelling around a lot. So after my fi rst degree in Paris I decided to come to the UK to study. There I managed to get a placement at Turner & Townsend but across Germany and Austria before being able to come back to the UK. I noticed that within the same

organisation outside of the UK the mentality was a lot about just executing work without questioning it much, while the UK industry strongly promotes continuous learning, challenging existing ideas and looking for improvement. I decided to join a smaller British

company which really represents those values and I intend to stay here for quite a few years to come.

It's not all academic Ian Robinson MCIOB CIOB stands accused by Peter Weston (“Out of sites, out of mind”, CM January) of failing to target mature students. He said that “to be a member of CIOB now you have to be a student or degree qualifi ed. Come to them as time-served or non-degree and CIOB chokes.” I’m astonished that no-one has challenged Peter on this. Some years

Elisa Pardini

Founder, architectural practice Elips Design Initially when I came to the UK from Italy I thought I would only stay for six months or maybe a year - I just wanted an international experience. But after two years I realised I was still here.

The work opportunities are not even comparable to ones in Italy. London is always changing, meaning that the city attracts people to do business or to live from all over the world. So it is a good place to be for an architect.

My practice, Elips Design, is growing and I am very satisfi ed in the UK. For me the near future is defi nitely here, to keep working so I can take all the opportunities this city continues to give me.

Sreehari Katragadda MCIOB Planning manager, Westfi eld Europe

The ease of learning,

availability of opportunities and career development

schemes, coupled with decent

pay packages, puts UK construction in a very strong position.

Following completion of my under

graduation in civil engineering, after some brief work experience in India, I landed in the UK over a decade ago to pursue a master's degree in project management. I wanted to enhance my career and gain international experience and soon after my graduation, I got a great opportunity to work on the London Olympic stadium at the very early stage of the project.

Cathryn Spence Associate director, Water, AECOM I originally came from Melbourne in 2001. Like many Australians I was looking for a new experience and was intending to stay here for two years. I stayed as it

ago, as a degreeless wonder in my forties, I – and no doubt hundreds of others - gained corporate membership of the CIOB through its direct membership examinations (DMX), specifi cally for those with 10 years’ industry experience but no higher-level academic qualifi cations. In 2008 DMX was updated, and the

experienced practitioner assessment (EPA) enabled hundreds more “time- served” candidates to demonstrate that

The diversity of the UK's construction workforce represents the industry's attractiveness to foreign-born workers

“The industry in the UK strongly promotes continuous learning, challenging existing ideas and looking for improvement"

Natacha Redon Elena Granados

Graduate design engineer, CH2M HILL

I came over to the UK in 2013 to join CH2M HILL as a tunnel engineer having

graduated as a civil engineer in Spain. I chose to start my professional career in the UK due to the opportunities for career progression and experience I could gain working on major infrastructure projects. So far I've been lucky to work on several major projects including the Tottenham Court Road station upgrade. It is a great time to be an engineer in the UK, as I can continue to develop my experience on major programmes such as HS2, Thames Tideway Tunnel and Crossrail 2.

London is one of the greatest cities in the world – I can't think of anywhere I would rather be that also has these opportunities for career progression.

Contact us Do you have an opinion on any of this month’s articles? Email: construction- manager@atom

they could satisfy the academic standards set for corporate membership. This year, the CIOB’s mature entry route is again being refreshed and rebadged as the chartered membership programme. There are also NVQ-based entry routes to corporate membership. So how can it be denied that the CIOB continues to offer dedicated experiential routes to corporate membership – far more so than other professional institutes?


felt like there were a lot of opportunities here for me to develop – I specialise in fl oods and the UK has a huge amount of interesting work in that area.

I did go home for a couple of years but came back as my overall quality of life is better here. There is a better work-life balance in the UK, there is so much more to do here, and now it just feels like home.

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