Although there is general agreement that the ending of many of the big infrastructure projects has had a deterimental efffect on construction in Scotland (which it has), there is no great reason for this to be translated into a "the sky is falling" mentality across the industry as a whole. You might think "well, given that his business is construction jobs he would say that, wouldn't he?" but it is undoubtedly true that the industry is not in as bad shape as some might imagine. Today's Times has a report on the state of Scottish construction which makes very good reading for those who prefer their glass to be half full rather than half empty.
Essentially, The TImes notes that despite the harder than average winter with more snow than usual (something that can cause construction to grind to a halt), "The Scottish construction sector recorded growth during the first quarter of the year despite the severe snow storms in February and March." This is based on the RICS construction and infrastructure market survey for Scotland, published today.
The RICS survey does, of course, record some areas of difficulty, but overall is positive, especially for housebuilders. As The Times reports, "Within Scotland there was a mixed picture across sub-sectors of the construction industry. Workloads rose across infrastructure, private housing and non-housing repair and maintenance in the public sector. However, they were stagnant in the commercial and industrial sectors and down by a net 8 per cent in public sector housing. Private housing, which rose 25 per cent, was the strongest overall performer."
Significantly, the survey also says respondents "remained relatively upbeat with a net 44 per cent believing workloads would rise over the coming 12 months and 25 per cent predicting an increase in employment." It also records the concerns that “The lack of sufficiently skilled workers, particularly with regards to professional services such as quantity surveying is particularly challenging.” And yes, as one of Scotland's major recruiters in this sector, we are well aware of this, which is why it's important that when you are seeking to recruit for professional roles you make sure you use a professional firm to help you. We can suggest a good one if you are stuck...
Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment