Tough economic conditions are still causing severe difficulties in the Scottish construction sector, according to the latest figures from the Bank of Scotland.
In the latest Scottish Building Federation (SBF) survey, employers in the industry are experiencing extremely low confidence levels, with only 9% expecting to recruit new staff through the course of the year.
Compounding the issue, 30% of the 79 firms surveyed are factoring in further redundancies in 2012, with the expected public sector contract cut backs largely suggested as being responsible.
There are few signs of good news either. 10% of those polled do not expect house building contracts to improve, with 40% expecting them to decline. As a result, most are hoping to secure private sector maintenance and repair contracts to steady the waters.
In the past year, the construction industry in Scotland has lost in the region of 30,000 jobs. Such survey results do not point to a significant recovery. To stop the rot, Michael Levack from the SBF is urging both the Scottish and UK governments to step in.
He calls for the “unnecessary bureaucracy around procurement and planning” to be addressed, claiming that it is stifling growth throughout the industry.
Responding to the issue, the Scottish government have said they are doing everything they can, but are restricted by the “severe cuts [imposed by] Westminster”.
In particular, the spokesman called for a new approach to increase capital investment and ease access to commercial finance in Scotland, which could only be implemented by the UK government.