Rewarding opportunities in prospect for 1997

The environmental marketplace has undergone radical change over the past ten years. Paul Gosling of specialist environmental recruitment consultants Allen & York looks at what's in store for the coming year.

1997 looks to hold exciting and challenging prospects for many companies and environmental professionals.

As the economy cautiously regains its ‘feelgood factor’ and legislation takes effect, we predict a general upward trend in the amount of work and hence the number of job opportunities available. Within this growth there are a number of sectors worth highlighting.

Contaminated land

Contaminated land investigation and remediation has been the busiest area in the environmental market for several years and seems likely to continue to be very active: This has been reinforced by recent government

pronouncements on the development of brown field sites and the landfill tax, along with the release of funds by companies such as British Coal and British Gas. Candidates with experience are always in demand in this field as shown by the numerous opportunities registered with us at any one time. Salary levels are also buoyant in order to attract quality candidates.

Risk assessment

The increasing influence of insurance companies and the concept of risk assessment and management is a further trend which seems likely to continue. Due-diligence, pre-acquisition and compliance auditing are terms that have migrated from the world of banking and insurance to become part of the everyday language of the environmental professional. Associated with this is the growing acceptance of the Environmental Management System as a tool for companies. These would seem likely sectors for rapid growth for 1997.

Industrial Environmental Management January 1997.

A further area likely to increase in importance is sales and marketing/public relations. In the current competitive marketplace companies are seeking an advantage over their rivals and will increasingly look to dedicated staff or specialist agencies to provide it.

In addition to these areas, we forecast growth in such diverse sectors as wastewater treatment, health and safety auditing, waste management/minimisation and oil and gas related environmental projects among others. Moreover there is an increase in international work with clients requiring candidates with foreign language skills.

Commercially driven candidates

The environmental sector is traditionally very competitive and is likely to become increasingly so, particularly with the recent bout of mergers and acquisitions. This means that the demand for commercially driven candidates is here to stay. The results of this is that we anticipate the most rewarding opportunities to be for the multitalented candidates able to combine technical expertise with an ability to win business and manage clients effectively. For candidates with these skills there are excellent remuneration packages available.

The feeling within the environmental marketplace is positive, mirroring the general atmosphere of the economy. For the job seeker there is much to take heart from with new opportunities arising all the time if you know where to look.

So if you are seeking a new challenge, 1997 is looking like a good year to go out and grasp it.

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