Scottish civils workloads rebound but material supply issues at five year high

Workloads and order books in Scotland’s civil engineering sector have rebounded significantly during Q3 of 2020 in sharp contrast to the rest of Great Britain, according to CECA Scotland.

Scottish civils workloads rebound but material supply issues at five year high

Grahame Barn

The latest Workload Trends Survey conducted by the trade association revealed activity south of the border has continued to fall in the post lockdown period.

But while Scotland’s order books have risen to a near five year high, there are still fears that workloads will fall over the next 12 months. Meanwhile, supply of materials is becoming a big issue, with the proportion of Scottish contractors reporting issues at a five year high and almost half also citing issues with supply of skilled operatives.

CECA Scotland’s chief executive, Grahame Barn, said: “These surveys show a marked difference between Scotland and the rest of Great Britain. The civil engineering sector in Scotland has successfully mobilised very quickly from a standing start in this period and while we hope the survey is the start of a positive upward trend, we suspect there may be an element of ‘catch up’ reflected in the Scottish trends.”

Mr Barn added: “It is still the case that Scotland’s civils contractors are worried about workloads over the next 12 months and while our survey does show some welcome scope for optimism after a very bleak period in recent years, we are still cautious. Coronavirus has impacted heavily on the construction sector in Scotland and going forward, it is more important than ever that Scotland has a strong, secure and sustainable infrastructure pipeline to ensure the sector can recover and rebuild after COVID-19.”

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