Housebuilding will boost growth in Scotland’s construction industry over the next five years, according to new research out today from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

The latest Construction Skills Network (CSN) forecast from CITB, the most comprehensive and up to date in the industry, shows that the strongest area of activity will be in the housing sector.

Both public housing (3.6%) and private housing (4.1%) are predicted to show sustained and solid growth during this period. Repair and maintenance of existing buildings is also improving, with a year on year average of 2.3%.

These sectors will pick up the baton of driving growth from infrastructure as large-scale projects, such as the Queensferry Crossing, Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and extensive motorway upgrades are completed within the forecast period.

Scotland’s overall growth will be 0.5% per annum from 2016-2020, against a UK average of 2.5%, with a small drop in overall employment of 0.7% in the next five years. 

Despite that, demographic trends will mean that Scotland needs more than 21,000 new construction workers over the next five years to meet demand.

The industry, working with CITB, has developed a new web portal – Go Construct – to help people find out about all the career opportunities available.

Steve Radley, Director of Policy at CITB, said: “Scottish construction has had an incredible few years, operating at record highs, with a string of major infrastructure projects delivered. This report shows that housebuilding will now take over as the prime driver of growth.

“With over 21,000 new workers needed over the next few years, there remain excellent, rewarding career opportunities in construction.

"We want to support firms in Scotland to take on apprentices, and upskill their workforce, while encouraging young people to join the industry to help construction grow in years to come.”