Scottish civils optimism at ‘six-year high’

Grahame Barn
Grahame Barn

CECA Scotland has revealed optimism within Scotland’s civil engineering sector is at a six-year high as infrastructure ‘stands ready’ to deliver a jobs-led recovery.

However, the trade body has warned that materials shortages driven by rising demand could ‘limit’ the extent of the recovery if cost pressures continue to hit contractors.

The findings were revealed in CECA’s quarterly workload trends survey. A quarter of Scottish respondents reported a rise in workloads over the past year and 47% of contractors expect this trend to continue over the next 12 months.

Around half of Scottish firms revealed that they expect to recruit more operatives and staff over the next year.

CECA Scotland’s chief executive, Grahame Barn, said, “Construction has been one of the few sectors which has been able to operate throughout most of the pandemic but there is no hiding the fact that additional cost pressures have taken their toll on contractors. After a tough year, it’s very welcome to see the signs of green shoots ahead as we begin to emerge from the crisis.

“Investment in infrastructure is the surest way of putting Scotland on track to a jobs-led recovery and build back better to meet our economic, social and climate priorities. We’re also hearing from our member organisations that the recent upsurge in costs for key building materials like concrete and steel are a particular cause for concern. We must not let the recovery be put at risk so it’s vital that government works together with industry to monitor the impact on growth.”