Scottish growth to continue for five years

Graeme Ogilvy
Graeme Ogilvy

SCOTLAND’S construction industry is expected to continue to grow for the next five years, according to the CITB’s new Construction Skills Network forecasts.

Interim figures suggest that construction output in Scotland will increase at an average of 1.6% during the period 2015 – 2019. The Private Housing sector is the main driver in the region with Public Non-Housing (3.9%) and Industrial (3.8%) also showing steady growth over the forecast period.

Output is below the UK average of 2.9% and is not expected to surpass its 2006 peak within the forecast period. Throughout the period, employment growth will continue to lag. Employment in the industry is forecast to rise by an annual average over 0.9% from 2015 but will still not reach its 2008 peak.

CSN data suggests that between 2015 and 2019, an average of 6,170 workers will be required in the region per year to deliver the forecast growth.

Graeme Ogilvy, Scotland Director for CITB, said, “Major projects such as the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and the new Forth Replacement Crossing mean there are a number of employment and output opportunities for the next few years. While predictions for employment growth still falling behind pre-recession figures, ensuring that we have the workforce required will still prove a major challenge for industry.

“Many employers are already struggling to source the skilled employees they need to carry out work and unless they plan effectively now by upskilling existing staff or securing new recruits, the problem will persist into the medium and longer term. Skills are the oxygen of the sector, especially when we are recovering from a recession but facing opportunities. It’s a fine balance which we appreciate and we’re working closely with the industry to encourage and deliver training; to actively promote the sector and to strive for a more diverse workforce. If workforce planning is neglected, opportunities will be missed and the sector will suffer.”