Working in construction recruitment as we do, it’s important to keep up-to-date about developments in the industry. Project Scotland and Scottish Construction Now are required reading, as are UK titles in the specialist fields of architecture, quantity surveying and engineering. That’s quite a lot, but without it our consultants can’t do their jobs properly, so it’s a key part of their day (and, indeed, their evenings at times!).
Over the last week, in and amongst the usual “everyday” stories of new building and engineering projects, staff promotions and awards, we’ve picked four stories that, for a variety of reasons, caught our eye.
Firstly, a seminar on the latest developments in visualisation technology is being held in Aberdeen tomorrow (Thursday 8th) under the auspices of Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC). Regular readers of our blog will know of Peace’s interest in the expanding use of technology in construction so this event is especially interesting. Ben Westland, head of strategic and commercial operations at CSIC, is quoted as saying, “Often when a new technology is first developed, it takes a while for companies to realise the range of opportunities and benefits that it offers. In terms of construction, visualisation technology can help reduce costs and time taken on projects.
Visualising our World” takes place on Thursday, 8 November from 12-5:30pm at Aker Solutions, International Avenue, Dyce and entry is free. For more information, visit http://www.cs-ic.org/events/2018/november/8th-november/visualising-our-world/
Secondly, it’s sad to read again of a builder’s criminal actions in defrauding vulnerable, often older, people of hundreds of thousands of pounds. Over four years, Patrick Young defrauded 12 victims of almost £400,000 and as a consequence was jailed in 2015 for eight years and nine months. This week’s (good) news is that in addition to his spell in the chokey, he has been given a confiscation order for £150,000, removing some of his ill-gotten gains and reinvesting them in the community.
The construction industry generally has a good reputation for being pretty “clean” and untainted by corruption, and in our view it’s important it continues to do so.
Next, we’re delighted to see that Stewart Milne Group is continuing to grow the numbers of its apprentices, up to 45 now following the recruitment of nine into its central Scotland homes division.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the group said it’s acting to tackle a shortage of tradespeople as it takes on eight new developments in the next six months, with Bryan Galloway, construction director, telling Project Scotland, “Latest statistics reveal that one in 10 jobs in Britain is in construction and we simply don’t have enough skilled people. This growing gap, exacerbated by the ageing workforce, is holding back growth and pushing up costs. Demand for subcontractors is soaring and the industry needs to work more collaboratively to attract young people and then help them develop the necessary skills to pursue a rewarding career in construction.”
At Peace, as a major recruiter of tradespeople across Scotland, we see this regularly, with many clients telling us of their concerns about attracting youngsters into the industry.
Finally, and in a similar vein to the Stewart Milne article, Construction Enquirer notes that skills shortages in civil engineering are worsening. In fact, they go further and tell us that in England they are the worse they have been since the sector began surveying quarterly workload trends in 2005. This is particularly concerning because the pipeline of work over the next few years is growing nicely, which it's not doing to the same extent north of the border.
That said, despite workloads falling in Scotland, we do hear of similar worries from civils companies about the paucity of skilled engineers here and this is reflected in a number of tasty vacancies on our jobs pages.
Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment