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Output statistics:
  • Worth close to £6.7 billion in 2007, in 2000 prices, construction output in Scotland accounted for around 8% of the UK total, a similar share to that of the West Midlands, South West, and Yorkshire and Humber.
  • Output is forecast to grow at an annual average rate of 0.6% between 2009 and 2013, similar to the UK average.
  • Infrastructure is expected to be by far the strongest construction sector in Scotland, driven along by investment in road and rail projects as part of the Scottish Government’s 10-year £3 billion transport investment programme.

Employment statistics:

  • In 2008, there were around 20,600 Construction sector workplaces in Scotland employing around 152,600.
  • The Scottish construction sector accounts for around 6.4% of all Scottish jobs.
  • 18% of the construction workforce is female.
  • Total construction employment in Scotland is forecast to drop to around 222,600 in 2009, before rising again to about 228,000 in 2013.
  • To meet demand in the 2009–2013 period, after taking into account those entering the industry other than from training and those leaving, 3,960 new workers will be required to join the industry each year.
  • The biggest occupational grouping in Scotland is wood trades and interior fit-out, accounting for 15.8% of construction employment north of the border in 2007
  • The largest annual recruitment requirements are expected to be for wood trades and interior fit-out and plant operatives.
  • There are 7% vacancies as a percentage of employees, compared to 3% in other sectors
  • 71% of all vacancies are hard-to-fill and 70% of hard-to-fill vacancies correspond to skill shortages.
  • 10% of workplaces report skill shortages and 23% report skill gaps, relating to technical and practical skills, followed closely by planning and organising skills.

Scotland has a much larger proportion of new entrants on an SVQ Level 3 qualification (30%) compared to all other areas, which have an average of 9% undertaking a Level 3. However, in England and Wales an NVQ Level 2 is regarded as the normal skill level for crafts people, whereas in Scotland an SVQ Level 3 is the expected level of skill required.

In craft roles, the highest requirements are for plant operatives (1,030) and wood trade and interior fit out (760). There are little or no requirements for: bricklayers; roofers; floorers; electrical trades and installation; plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning trades.

There are an estimated 7,295 technical staff in the construction sector in the region, which is expected to rise to 7,930 in 2014. Annual recruitment requirements to 2014 for the region are an estimated 205 people.

In professional and managerial roles, there are annual recruitment requirements for construction managers (630), civil engineers (380), other construction professionals (205), senior executive and business process managers (70) and architects (60). There is little or no requirement for surveyors. Total employment to 2014 is expected to increase in senior executive and business process management, construction management occupations and civil engineers.

Source: Blueprint for UK Construction Skills 2010-2014, Labour Market Intelligence 2009-2013 Scotland and ConstructionSkills: Scottish sector profile 2009