ROBERTSON Group has announced that an academic research centre has found that the company’s spending over the past three years has supported over £1.8 billion in Scottish GVA.
Robertson commissioned a report by Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI), which analysed the firm’s spend across 2017/18 – 2019/20. in that time, the business is also estimated to have supported on average over 11,200 Scottish jobs annually.
The report was commissioned to provide Robertson with a greater understanding of the role it plays in the Scottish economy and where it can focus efforts to help in the post-Covid recovery.
Elliot Robertson, chief operating officer at Robertson Group, said, “The construction sector in Scotland was significantly impacted during the first lockdown with many sites across our entire industry brought to a complete standstill for a period of 13 weeks. As the 8th largest sector in the Scottish economy, contributing around 6% of Scottish GVA and 5% of Scottish employment it was essential that we found a way to return to work safely, protecting the workforce and the communities where we operate.
“The sector showed great resilience and adaptability during the pandemic and has been the first main sector to recover, with performance returning to above pre-pandemic levels.”
Of Robertson’s spend over the period analysed, around £39.5 million was in postcode districts identified as containing the top 20 most deprived postcodes in Scotland.
Elliot added, “As a responsible business our commitment extends beyond economic benefits, we aim to leave a lasting community impact and legacy in the communities where we work, through employment and training opportunities, working with residents and local community groups surrounding our projects, to listen and understand their needs, to then design and implement initiatives which support their aspirations for their community.
“The social impact that Robertson has on communities should not be underestimated and at a time when our industry is facing skills shortages, we need to be doing all that we can to encourage trainees into the sector. Inequalities across Scotland need to be addressed and businesses like ours are in a position to help to do exactly that.”
Last year, Robertson launched its 2030 Responsible Business Strategy. The firm said the findings from the FAI report show that the business is ‘well progressed’ in its journey of meeting its objectives as it continues to move beyond carbon neutral to climate positive.
Mairi Spowage, director of the FAI, commented, “The construction sector has been a strong driver of growth in the Scottish economy throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and construction firms have a significant role to play in supporting Scotland’s economic recovery from Covid-19. Robertson is an important contributor to the construction sector in Scotland and across the UK. However, the contribution of Robertson extends beyond this sector, as its investment and day-to-day operations supports jobs and economic growth across the whole economy.
“Whilst Covid-19 currently presents an unprecedented challenge for the Scottish economy, there are longer-term challenges that have been exacerbated due to the pandemic. One of these long-term challenges is tackling inequalities. Our latest findings highlight that Robertson is in a strong position to help support Scotland in its efforts to tackle these grand challenges.”