The slump in the Scottish economy showed that output decreased by 0.2 per cent during Quarter 1 in 2012 with a further decrease in Quarter 2 of 0.4 per cent, which equalled the UK decline in GDP as a whole, and a decline in manufacturing of over 2 per cent. Much of the downturn has impacted the construction sector which has shrunk by 10 per cent during 2012.
However this decrease in the construction sector has spurred construction leaders and developers in Scotland to come together and launch optimistic and ambitious growth plans to combat the decline for the next four years. The strategy called `Building for the Future’ will be driven by a new Construction Scotland industry leadership group.
The group is the lead and key organisation for the Scottish building industry and is formed to direct and unite the industry and act as the voice for the industry. The group is made up from a variety of organisations including the public sector, colleges, trade bodies, businesses and universities and is recognised as the leader in and voice of the construction industry by the Scottish Government.
The plans and priorities set out for building the Scottish construction industry and pushing for growth is by developing a more successful construction industry, driving innovation and productivity, working in partnership to deliver a low carbon environment and establishing a cohesive voice for the industry in Scotland.
The strategy outlines putting innovation at the heart of the construction industry and to pursue global markets, growing exports by 10 per cent.The strategy also outlines an increase in collaboration between construction sector businesses and within the supply chain. In order to increase productivity, improving the workforce’s skills, improving process and systems and enhancing design and specification will be at the core of activity to drive improved productivity in the sector.
The plan also states that it aims to reduce carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 by producing more carbon-efficient products and constructing zero-carbon buildings. The sector will also work in conjunction with colleges and universities to advance research for carbon-friendly building and construction.
The strategy overall aims to increase the profitability of the Scottish construction industry and its holistic contribution to the Scottish economy and to boost its recovery from the dramatic decline it has seen during the past year in 2012.
The strategy is also dependent upon the cohesive collaboration and co-operation of all parties within the sector including agencies, local authorities, smaller construction companies and the Scottish Government. It is also hoped that the Construction Scotland reputation and brand will be enhanced globally and that quality construction services and products can be innovated, used and exported both across Scotland and overseas markets.