Setting out a stall for success in Scottish construction
The Scottish construction sector plays an integral part in the national economy.
According to a Construction Scotland strategy document, the industry contributes £21.5 billion to the nation's GDP; makes up 10 per cent of Scotland's gross value added; and employs 170,000 people (that’s 10% of all Scottish jobs with a further 60,000 self-employed workers). And, for every £1 spent on construction output, £2.94 is generated for the economy.
These impressive figures accompanied the launch of Construction Scotland’s new four-year strategy to enhance that contribution. It focuses on these specific high-potential areas —
- Procurement — to achieve 'fundamental change to how capital procurement works in Scotland and stop procurement against lowest price’
- Skills — to increase skills and diversity
- Quality and standards — to ensure improved customer satisfaction and safety
- Planning and building regulations — to ensure regulatory frameworks are in place and realise sustainable construction investment and development
- Growth opportunities — to capitalise on opportunities for the industry to grow
- Productivity and innovation — to support a more productive, innovative and profitable industry
But what about the north east picture?
That’s why conferences such as Build It, held last week in Aberdeen with Ledingham Chalmers as the main sponsor, are key: bringing the industry together to collaborate, reflect and discuss the issues and opportunities here in the north east.
And topics up for discussion included —
How far do the six strategic priorities reflect the areas of most importance in the north east
Growth in the sector over recent years is reported to have been supported (in part) by major infrastructure projects such as the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. As this comes to an end, how certain is the future pipeline for both private and public sector projects?
Uncertainty around Brexit, in terms of consumer confidence and supply of labour and materials, as well as the impact on the sector of new technology such as automation and artificial intelligence.
The extent to which the oil price impacts on all business sectors in the area and, with a strong emphasis throughout the strategy document on collaboration — reflecting similar approaches in the energy industry — what can oil and gas and construction learn from each other?
We'll be sharing a round-up of our experience at the conference — where we facilitated a number of discussions — shortly, as well as our usual sector commentary, so watch this space.
An earlier version of this article appeared in the Press and Journal on 26 November, 2018