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OPINION: Hays talks about construction recruitment activity in Scotland

Director at construction recruitment specialist Hays Construction Akash Marwaha comments on how construction recruitment is faring in Scotland.

The civil and infrastructure sector in Scotland is currently thriving, with many developments taking place across the country.

There is extensive construction work underway near Glasgow on the extension of the M74 motorway which is due for completion in 2011 and Scottish Water has invested significant money in a number of projects to improve the quality of the service that they deliver.

The public sector has also seen substantial investment, particularly across social housing, education and the NHS. There are a number of Building Schools for the Future projects taking place at schools across Scotland, from Inverclyde to Aberdeen, and construction work is underway at several hospitals, including the new Stobhill hospital in Glasgow worth around £100 million.

Professionals of all disciplines are needed to work on many similar projects taking place across the country; however, project managers, surveyors, civil & structural engineers and building surveyors are particularly sought after.

The introduction of mandatory energy performance certificates for every property that is bought, sold, built or rented has created a demand for energy assessors.

Some organisations are considering employing consultancies; however, many are exploring the option of funding an existing employee through a diploma to qualify them as a Domestic Energy Assessor so they can carry out the work in-house.

This is creating a number of opportunities, both for qualified energy assessors and for workers to fill the vacancies left by those who are taking the diploma.

Many employers are currently being more particular about their requirements when looking to fill a vacancy as there is a widespread belief that there are more potential applicants available.

However, while we have seen an increase in the number of applicants from certain sectors, such as housing, it is still difficult to find high calibre commercial candidates and employers need to retain realistic expectations when recruiting for new staff in this area.