Scotland business

CITB forecasts marginal growth in Scottish construction

House roof under construction Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Output from the housing sector in Scotland rose by 16% last year, according to ONS figures

An industry body has forecast marginal growth in Scottish construction output over the next five years.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) predicted average annual growth of 0.1% between 2018 and 2022.

Its report suggested falls in infrastructure work would be mitigated by growth in most of the remaining sectors.

A small drop in overall employment of 0.7% per year is expected over the five-year period.

However, it added that Scotland needed more than 10,000 new workers between 2018 and 2022 because of an ageing workforce - with demand for supervisors, logistics and civil engineers, among other roles.

Figures recently released by the Scottish government showed that construction output fell in Scotland for a seventh quarter in a row between July and September last year.

Looking ahead, the CITB report forecasts growth of 3.9% a year in public housing over the next five years, with private housing growing at 2.9%.

It said expansion in the industry was being driven by the Scottish government's target of building 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021.

Repair and maintenance of existing buildings is also expected to grow, with a year-on-year average rise of 2.6%, and 1.7% for non-housing related work.

Image copyright Thinkstock

The report highlighted a number of major projects in the pipeline in the industrial construction sector, including the £700m Edinburgh International Business Gateway mixed-use development and a £110m expansion of GlaxoSmithKline's Montrose site.

It also cited plans by spirits firm Chivas Brothers to construct a new £40m bottling plant and offices at its Kilmalid site near Dumbarton.

Ian Hughes, partnership director at CITB Scotland, said: "The forecast for Scottish construction sees a stable five years to 2022.

"It is encouraging to see strong growth for housing in particular."

He added: "With over 10,000 new workers needed over the next five years, there remain excellent, rewarding career opportunities in construction.

"Our modern apprenticeship programme in Scotland continues to go from strength to strength, with over 5,000 apprentices currently being trained.

"We want to support firms in Scotland to take on more apprentices, to upskill their workforce, and to champion construction as a rewarding lifelong career."

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