WS ATKINS is looking for 5,000 extra staff to handle future business.
Chief executive Keith Clarke said the company, which already employs 15,000 people, was looking for workers to handle growing markets in China and to capitalise on domestic opportunities including the Olympics and transport spending.
Mr Clarke said: 'Recruitment and retention is a main board issue at the moment. We've got 34 professional recruiters in and we are looking to make it far easier for people to move within the company rather than go to rivals.' The consultant pushed up pre-tax profits for the six months to September to £28.2 million, up 9 per cent on last year. Contract wins from Transport for London, Birmingham City Council and Essex County Council also helped improve turnover by 11 per cent to £516.1 million.