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Civils slump continues

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‘Situation is extremely challenging’

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Workloads at Scotland’s civil engineering contractors have plunged for the sixth consecutive quarter.

Figures released today by trade body CECA Scotland show “little scope for
optimism” as activity north of the border continues to fall behind the rest of
the UK. Nearly all contractors (93%) are reporting rising costs while around half have problems recruiting workers with the proper skills.

The latest bleak outlook follows recent reports that major infrastructure projects have been delayed and CECA is calling on the Scottish Government to reform procurement and put in place “a clear future infrastructure pipeline”.

CECA Scotland chief executive Grahame Barn (right) 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.”

Describing the situation as “extremely challenging”, especially for contractors working on public sector projects, Barn added: “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.”

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CECA Scotland represents more than 100 contractors responsible for around 80% of the civil engineering market north of the border.

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©Scottish Plant.  Article posted 20/5/2019