Construction wages rise amid ‘remarkable’ expansion

WAGES across Scotland’s ­construction industry are rising on average well above the rate of inflation, according to a study that hails “remarkable growth” for the sector.

Liz Cameron hails impact of Scotland's year in the spotlight. Picture: Contributed
Liz Cameron hails impact of Scotland's year in the spotlight. Picture: Contributed

The latest quarterly business survey from the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) published today shows construction workers enjoyed an average pay rise of 5.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014.


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Elsewhere, profits in the tourism sector continued to rise during the final three months of the year, which saw Scotland take centre-stage as the country hosted high-profile sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup.

Liz Cameron, chief executive of the SCC, said: “Scotland’s year in the spotlight added a spring to our step but strong performances have not been limited to the tourism industry.

“Construction, in particular, has experienced remarkable growth, with investment levels at ten-year highs and outperforming other sectors in this quarter.”

The survey comes just a week after the Office for National Statistics reported that construction output during November was 2 per cent lower than the previous month, but year-on-year comparisons showed growth of 3.6 per cent, helped by a surge in new housing work.

Brian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction’s Scotland and north-east England division, said: “2015 is shaping up to look strong for Kier and the construction industry as a whole. Last year we increased our turnover by 51 per cent on the previous year and all the signs point to another year of growth.”

Today’s SCC report, produced in collaboration with the Fraser of Allander Institute, follows a recent survey from Lloyds Bank that showed companies in Scotland were more optimistic about their prospects for the coming six months than their counterparts in the rest of the UK.

Cameron said: “Strong performance from 2014 has helped Scottish businesses get off to a great start in 2015. With investment levels high across all sectors, there is much to look forward to as businesses seek to continue this impressive growth.”