Skills shortage worsens as European construction workers steer clear of Scotland

Scotland is suffering from a dire shortage of construction workers, with just under half (48%) of the Scottish construction companies reporting skills shortages, according to a survey of 176 firms by the the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

However, less than a third (28%) of other UK respondents reported the same problem, down from 46% in 2003.

RICS economist David Stubbs told the Scotsman newspaper, that companies in Scotland were not yet able to enjoy the abundance of European labour now available elsewhere.

“Scotland has certainly not seen the same effect as the rest of the country,” he said. “I’m sure there has been some marginal impact, but not nearly to the same extent as in London and the South East.”

But Stubbs was still optimistic about the Scottish construction industry.

“This year is going to be a better year than 2005 across the country and there is no reason why Scotland should be any different,” he said.

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