Nixon Williams

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Engineering and construction contract opportunities in Scotland increase sharply

Engineering and construction contract opportunities in Scotland increased sharply during August 2014, as the category shot into first place in the demand league table, up from third place in the previous month.

At the same time Scotland-based contractors saw increased pay, and their availability fell for the fifteenth consecutive month, and at a faster pace than the rest of the UK. This suggests that engineering and construction contractors could find Scotland offers lucrative contract opportunities.

The latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs also shows that European oil and gas capital Aberdeen saw the largest rise in both contract and permanent recruitment during the month. ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin believes that this suggests the oil and gas sector’s recovery that started last month is maintaining momentum.

He explains: “During July, we saw activity in the oil and gas sector accelerate after months of stagnation. These latest figures suggest that the industry is continuing to invest in hiring both contractors and employees.”

The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer, which provides a snapshot of the overall health of Scotland’s jobs market, also posted a strong return. “August’s Barometer returned a strong reading showing a rising number of people appointed to both permanent and temporary jobs,” highlights Bank of Scotland chief economist Donald MacRae.

“There was a record drop in people available for jobs and growing evidence of strong growth in pay confirming the tightening of the jobs market. The economic recovery continues with business confidence remaining high.”

According to the report, global games capital Dundee experienced the fastest fall in contractor availability. Chaplin believes this is significant: “Coupled with the rise of IT and computing from fourth place in July’s demand league table to third place in August, a shortage of contractors in Dundee suggests that the video games sector is hiring, but there are not enough suitably skilled IT contractors to fill assignments.

“This in turn means that there are going to be attractive contracts for IT contractors elsewhere in the UK who are prepared to move.”

In contrast, Scotland’s financial centre of Edinburgh experienced a sharp fall in contractor and employee demand growth. This would tally with the summer slowdown traditionally associated with the financial sector, and that was experienced in London, as shown by the latest Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor.

Published: 16 September 2014

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