Jobs in demand

Skills shortage hits booming construction sector

First tram lines at Ocean Terminal

Work on the Edinburgh tram line is creating jobs

A skills shortage is sweeping through the UK construction sector just as the industry needs to create thousands of jobs to cope with a strong rebound from the pandemic.

A surge in demand for workers is being triggered by £33 billion of infrastructure investment planning and capital spending in Scotland.

Onshore and offshore wind farms, the Edinburgh tram extension, a multi-billion-pound water investment programme, and new private housing schemes are among the schemes driving demand for workers in Scotland.

Planned investment in Scotland over the next five years includes £5bn for city and regional growth, £30 million for the National Islands Plan, £1.6bn to decarbonise heat in buildings, and £2.8bn to deliver more affordable and social homes.

A report from recruitment firm Hays Scotland says permanent job registrations in the construction and property sector in Scotland have increased by 59% in the last 12 weeks, compared to the prior 12-week period.

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Temporary job registrations have increased by more than 42% in the same period.

Claire Sheerin, director of Hays construction and property in Scotland, said: “The construction industry in Scotland makes up 12% of Scotland’s companies.

“The demand we’re seeing is in line with or, in many areas, ahead of pre-pandemic levels, leading to confidence about the future of this sector for 2021 and beyond.

“However, as a result, we’re witnessing skills shortages across a broad spectrum of construction jobs notably time-served joiners, quantity surveyors, electricians and skilled trades. Civil engineers and landscape architects are also in demand following the investment in civil infrastructure projects.”

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