Skip to main content


There are around 3,800 building engineering services sector workplaces in Scotland, employing 28,500 people – about 1% of all Scottish jobs. The sector has a different pattern of jobs from the rest of the economy. There are higher proportions of people in skilled trade occupations accounting for over half of all sector employees.

Half of the people in employment in the sector are aged below 36 years and 50% are aged above 36 years. This is the same as the equivalent figure for all industries in Scotland.

The average weekly full-time wage for employees in the sector is £476. This is 10%higher than the average across Scotland, which is £432.

Labour turnover in the sector is similar to turnover in other sectors (19% compared with 22%). Where skill gaps arise, employers most frequently cite weaknesses in technical and practical skills. Around half of all sector employers with skill gaps also reported weaknesses in ‘soft’ skills, specifically in customer handling skills and problem solving skills.

Sector employers are equally likely to have funded or arranged training for their staff (68%) than employers in other sectors (66%). For those employers who had funded or arranged training, those in the sector were more likely to report they had provided off-the-job training only than employers in other sectors.

Workforce data:

  • 20% of employers in the Scottish Enterprise area are alarmed at the low level of literacy and numeracy of new entrants.
  • There are significantly fewer problems with mature staff.
  • IT skills are being seen as problematic with older staff, as technologies advance.
  • 57% of firms employ no women outside of administrative roles. Those that do, only employ a small percentage.
  • 33% of firms have employees from ethnic minority groups working in technical roles.
  • 37% of firms stated they employ migrant workers at present.
  • 100% of contractors need their craft workforce to be trained to Level 3.
  • There is some concern at the quality of training provision in the country.
  • Companies in the Scottish Enterprise show an insufficient amount of training of management and supervisory staff in relation to other regions and countries within the UK.
  • The Scottish Executive has set a target of 18% of electricity in Scotland will be generated from renewable sources by 2010, with an aspiration to raise this to 40% by 2020.

Source: SummitSkills: Scottish sector profile 2009, The dawn of a new era for building services engineering skills Sector Skills Agreement Scotland final report 2008 and Skills Priorities and Challenges for the Building Services Engineering Sector in Scotland 2010