No end in sight for civils downturn, warns CECA Scotland

Grahame Barn

NEW figures from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Scotland have warned there is “no light at the end of the tunnel” for the Scottish civils downturn.

The association’s latest Workload Trends Survey for Scotland has revealed that not only have civil workloads declined for the fifth consecutive quarter, conditions have deteriorated and outlook remains weak, with workloads now at their lowest in nine years.

Civil contractors also reported difficulties recruiting skilled staff, with one in two reporting supply issues; the highest figure in four years. 96% of respondents reported a rise in costs.

The survey comes as the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee considers the future of nation’s construction industry, and follows the recent appointment of the new Infrastructure Commission.

CECA Scotland chief executive, Grahame Barn commented, “With half of Scottish firms reporting a further decline in orders over the last quarter, there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel for Scotland’s civils contractors.

“Workloads have now declined for a staggering five quarters in a row. We, now more than ever in these times of uncertainty, need to see concerted action from the Scottish and UK Government’s to support Scotland’s civils sector.

“Investment in infrastructure is not only central to Scotland’s future economic prosperity, it transforms how we all live and work. As MSPs consider the future of the Scottish construction sector, this ongoing workload crisis highlights the urgent need for change to secure its future and rightful place at the heart of Scotland’s economy.”