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Housebuilding in Scotland – social needs, social benefits

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The most fundamental human need is subsistence, generally defined as food and shelter.    Shelter means having a place to live and, in our world, that should mean having a house, flat or other form of accommodation that is safe, warm and secure.  If you’ll excuse me being perhaps a bit pretentious, housebuilding is then one of the most basic and important things that we do as humans.  More specifically, housebuilding affects the economy, the environment and, of course, our social well-being.

For example:

  • The industry in Scotland supports 63,260 jobs
  • New homes built to the latest standards have reduced their carbon emissions by 75% compared to 1990 levels.
  • Every new home supports around 4 jobs
  • Home building in Scotland generated £3.2bn in 2013 (gross value)
  • New homes can save money on heating and assist in fighting fuel poverty

However, housing production overall has fallen by 40% since 2007. In 2016, the Scottish Government set a target of 50,000 affordable homes by 2021.  We have some way to go to meet this, but Barratt, Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey, Bellway Cala, Robertson Partnership Homes and Lovell, amongst many others, are doing well across the board, building quality homes for both private and social use, while the help to buy schemes have given thousands of private home buyers the chance to get on the property ladder. 

That said, houses don’t build themselves (at least not yet!).  Note that statistic above, that every new home supports around 4 jobs. At a time of virtual full employment, skills shortages affect many industries and as a recruitment consultant dedicated solely to the recruitment of construction management staff for housebuilders in Scotland I’ve noticed a surge in both private and social housing this year and a real desire for more “quality managers.”

This demand opens up a lot of movement within the industry and consequently there’s more competition than ever between developers to retain and attract new staff. Retention is as important as recruitment but, with demand growing, it’s likely to get harder than ever to hang on to your great people.

A key area of focus for some is to invest in “fresh blood” in terms of Assistant Site Managers who can grow and develop, learn the company values of their housebuilder employers and, in turn, become the future highly credible site managers.  This creates opportunity for those with the requisite skills and the drive, determination and enthusiasm to succeed.  It’s an exciting period of growth within housebuilding in Scotland in general and I really enjoy being able to play a small part in.

Thank you to all those candidates and clients with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working in 2017. I look forward to hearing of your progress and working with you again in 2018.

Linsey Toland, Manager, Peace Recruitment

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