Scottish civils workloads plunge for sixth consecutive quarter

Scottish civils workloads plunge for sixth consecutive quarter

The latest CECA Workload Trends Survey for Scotland, covering 2019 Q1, has revealed that workloads in Scotland’s civils sector have now fallen for a staggering six consecutive quarters.

The CECA (Scotland) Workload Trends 2019 Q1, which has been published quarterly since 2005, found not only have civils workloads declined for six quarters in row but there remains little scope for optimism.

Scottish workloads continue to trail behind the rest of the UK, where the latest figures also make bleak reading, as project delays risk recession south of the border too.

Read more about the GB wide survey here:  CECA (Great Britain) Workload Trends 2019 Q1.

At the same time, almost all contractors (93%) report rising costs and almost half (48%) cite issues recruiting workers with the right skills, again trailing he rest of the UK where skills shortages were found to be less of a challenge.

Just last month it was reported in the Herald that almost half of all major infrastructure projects in Scotland have been delayed and with public sector work accounting for a significant chunk of Scottish civils work, contractors are calling for action from the Scottish Government to put in place a clear future infrastructure pipeline for Scotland and reform procurement to better support Scotland’s civils sector.

CECA Scotland Chief Executive, Grahame Barn said:

“These latest figures really need to be seen as a wake up call for the Scottish Government, although they will come as no surprise to our members. Investment in infrastructure is central to Scotland’s future economic success and while we welcome the creation of the Scottish Infrastructure Commission, we need action here and now if we are to ensure a sustainable future for the Scottish civils sector and avoid a skills drain down south.

There is no doubt this is an extremely challenging time for our sector and that is especially the case for contractors working on public sector infrastructure projects. The current procurement model is broken and needs reform now. We are hopeful that Scottish Ministers are now mindful of this and we are in the early stages of discussions to take reform forward.

It’s time for a new approach to procurement for major infrastructure projects – one that better reflects the shape of industry here in Scotland and that ensures a sustainable future for Scottish based civil engineering contractors”.