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62,500 Scottish construction jobs lost over five years

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The Scottish construction industry has lost more than a quarter of its workforce since 2008, according to new figures

The AJ’s sister title Construction News reported that 62,500 jobs have been shed over the last five years with statistics from Scotland’s annual population survey showing that 14,500 building jobs were lost last year alone.

Employment within the Scottish construction industry has fallen from 235,234 in 2008 to 172,700 currently, which is the lowest level since current records began in 2004.

Scottish Building Federation executive director Michael Levack said the new figures ‘lay bare the huge extent of the damage done to the construction industry by the economic downturn’.

We’ve lost more than a quarter of our workforce, which is nothing short of staggering

‘Since 2008, we’ve lost more than a quarter of our workforce, which is nothing short of staggering.’

The SBF is writing to Scottish and UK government ministers to draw their attention to the new figures and urge them to take action to rebuild industry capacity.

Levack said: ‘Job losses of this scale require the Scottish and UK governments to adopt a targeted strategy to rebuild capacity. That must include tax measures such as cutting VAT on building repairs and maintenance to stimulate industry activity.’

He also called for an effort to make public investment in construction a priority and measures to streamline planning and procurement to get projects off the ground quickly.

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