Holyrood committee set to examine Scottish construction sector

Gordon Lindhurst MSP

THE Scottish construction sector is to be put under the microscope, with the launch of a new Holyrood enquiry.

The Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee has launched the enquiry with the aim of understanding the challenges facing the sector in Scotland, and is seeking a wide range of views on how the industry can be developed to further drive the Scottish economy.

Specific areas that will be explored are economic impact, access to finance, skills, procurement, infrastructure, and innovation. Views are also being sought on how to encourage young people to take up apprenticeship roles in construction and particularly to tackle the industry’s gender pay gap.

The convener of the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee, Gordon Lindhurst MSP said, “Construction is a vital sector in Scotland as it drives and underpins the economy with its knock-on effect on other sectors. As well as being a major employer, the sector also delivers infrastructure for housing, transport, education and community, and contributes £21.5 billion to Scotland’s gross domestic product.

“However, the sector has its challenges and we want to hear views and suggestions on how these can be overcome. We also want to find out how we can encourage young people to work in the industry, and we’ll be holding consultation work with businesses and colleges over the coming months.”

Questions the committee would like to explore include:

  • How important is the construction sector in Scotland as an economic enabler?
  • What are the causes of the sector’s productivity challenges?
  • What is the future economic outlook and implications of Brexit for the sector?
  • What are the sources of and barriers to accessing finance in the sector?
  • Do you have any suggestions on opportunities to enhance procurement practices across the sector?
  • What are your views on the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre?
  • How will technological changes (e.g. robotics, automation) impact the sector and how can Scotland take advantage of this change?