Letter to the Editor: Vaughan Hart on the latest construction liquidation statistics
The latest figures from the Insolvency Service are encouraging, showing a 20 per cent decline in the number of Scottish building companies forced into compulsory liquidation during the 12 months to June 2015. In total, 119 Scottish construction businesses failed during that period, down from 148 over the previous 12 months and a peak of 228 over the 12 months to June 2012.
These results suggest the industry is more or less on track with the rest of the economy with insolvencies across all industries down 22 per cent over the past year. They provide further evidence of the tentative recovery being experienced by the industry. At the same time, with more than one in five Scottish business bankruptcies being construction-based, there is absolutely no cause for complacency.
Equally, there are a number of potential headwinds to future growth in Scottish construction, not least a growing shortage of skills. Small and medium sized businesses in particular need support to invest more in skills and apprenticeships. With apprenticeship registrations in Scotland still 44 per cent below where they were prior to the recession, rebuilding the industry’s skills base is now a critical priority.