Construction workloads '˜failed to grow in second quarter'

GROWTH in workloads across the Scottish construction sector stalled during the last quarter, a report has found.

The Scottish construction industry has stalled in last quarter. Picture: Contributed

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) looked at the period from April to June for its latest UK construction market survey.

The responses were collected after the outcome of the EU referendum was known.

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The study found that construction workloads in Scotland had failed to rise during the second quarter of the year for the first time since 2013.

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Scots construction industry hampered by skills gap

The slowdown was visible across most sectors, Rics found. Housebuilding declined during the last quarter, with a drop in activity across both the private and public sectors.

But despite the slowdown in activity across the UK in the last quarter, the shortage of skills was said to remain a problem.

In Scotland, quantity surveyors were found to remain in particularly short supply, with 44% of those questioned for the survey citing difficulties sourcing these skills.

Rics also recorded a “less optimistic outlook” for the sector over the year ahead, although across Scotland 21% more contributors said they still expect activity to rise rather than fall over this period.

Neil Donald, of Neil Donald Ltd in Aberdeen, told the survey: “This slowdown has been coming for many months and the current political and economic uncertainty is clearly adding to this issue, but it is not the only factor in an economy still recovering from the last recession.”

Simon Rubinsohn, Rics’ chief economist, said: “The latest results from the Rics construction market survey suggest that the second quarter of the year saw a further moderation in the growth trend, which is not altogether surprising given the build-up to the EU referendum.

“Significantly, the biggest issue at the present time alongside uncertainty looks to be credit constraints, with over two thirds of contributors highlighting this issue as a concern.”