Infrastructure investment drives ‘surge’ in construction job registrations in Scotland

Claire Sheerin

NEW research has revealed that permanent job registrations in Scotland’s construction and property sector have increased by over 59% in the last 12 weeks, compared to the previous 12 weeks.

Hays Scotland said its data also shows that temporary job registrations have increased by over 42% in the same period.

The firm is attributing the ‘surge’ to the infrastructure investment planning and capital spending in Scotland, backed by government pipelines.

Claire Sheerin, director of Hays Construction & Property in Scotland, said, “The construction industry in Scotland makes up 12% of Scotland’s companies employing in excess of 143,000 people. The demand we’re seeing is in line with or, in many areas, ahead of pre-pandemic levels, leading to confidence about the future of this sector for 2021 and beyond.

“However, as a result, we’re witnessing skills shortages across a broad spectrum of construction jobs notably time-served joiners, quantity surveyors, electricians and skilled trades. Civil engineers and landscape architects are also in demand following the investment in civil infrastructure projects.”

Hays added that rising demand coupled with shortages,means that higher rates are being paid to attract trades in short supply and employers are in competition to fulfil their staffing requirements.

“Many clients are struggling to attract the level of skill they require for their projects and are thinking about how they can upskill or retrain others,” said Sheerin. “Retraining will feature highly in the future of Scotland’s construction sector, but it’s certainly not a short-term fix.

“Pragmatic approaches such as offering the longest-term contracts possible is one sure way to help attract the best talent. Planning is also been cited as critical by many contractors within the industry over the following months, as knowing well in advance what your key project milestones are will allow you to plan your resources more effectively.”