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Scotland construction sector to grow 4.1% with 26,250 extra jobs needed to meet demand

Construction in Scotland has come back strongly from COVID-19, needing 26,250 extra jobs to be created by 2025.   

The Scottish sector is expected to grow by an annual average rate of 4.1%, and recovering to pre-pandemic growth levels by 2023 according to a new study from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). 

Major projects such as wind farms, including the Firth of Forth; the Edinburgh Tram extension; a £3.6bn Scottish water investment programme; and the first Moray Firth turbines are driving strong annual average output growth in infrastructure (4.7%) between the end of 2020 and 2025. Also expected to do well is private housing (6.3%). 

The 26,250 additional jobs required are on top of the anticipated annual average workforce growth of 1.4% per year until 2025 which includes turnover from new recruits and retirements. Scotland’s construction workforce was estimated to be 226,100 at the end of 2020 and is set to increase to 241,800 by the end of 2025. 

It’s not all good news - the commercial sector faces near-term risks due to a reduced demand for office use and also retail space as more shopping goes online, requiring warehouses. 

Most of the UK will experience an increase in construction output by 2025, with London and the West Midlands both at 4.8%, the Yorkshire and the Humber region at 4.5%, the South East at 4.4%, and Wales at 4.1%.  

Ian Hughes, CITB Engagement Director for Scotland, said: “Scottish construction’s return to solid growth with new job opportunities shows the fortitude and adaptability of the sector through unprecedented times.   

“CITB is supporting construction and working with the Scottish Government and Further Education providers to meet the skills needs ahead, particularly regarding the challenges of Net Zero, building safety and digital technologies.” 

The Construction Skills Network national and regional data can be found here.