Homes For Scotland Update

February 2021


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Having worked within the construction recruitment sector for almost 20 years, I am delighted to have joined Contract Scotland to lead their housing and property division. It's a great team here and a pleasure to be part of their growth strategy.  If I haven't managed to catch you on the phone yet, I look forward to doing so soon.  My key aim is for Contract Scotland to remain the trusted "go to" recruiter in the market, but I can only do this with your help, so please feel free to catch up with me anytime you need to. 

So far, despite the immense pressure the UK economy has been under, the housebuilding market is emerging in a relatively strong position, particularly across Central Scotland.

Time will tell what the longer-term impact of COVID will be on the industry, particularly within the first-time buyer sector of the market, but so far, sales have been strong enough for many companies to re-instate their bonus schemes. As anticipated however, many builders have reported an increase in cancellations after initial deposits have been paid. This is most likely a result of virtual tours replacing regular visits when showrooms were closed to the public.

We are delighted to report that there is still recruitment activity and a desire to hire the right people, particularly amongst site management staff, as opportunities continue to arise in the central belt.  Whilst many were also made redundant during the first wave, businesses then realises that the workload was still there and had to re-fill roles again.  As always, identifying good talent is never easy.

Fortunately, there have been very few cases of employers ‘lowballing’ offers for those who have found themselves redundant in 2020.  Most employers have recognised that the retention of key staff will be vital as we move through the year into a more "normal” work environment.  The ability to adapt to working in either a home or on-site environment, whilst remaining engaged with the company culture, are qualities which are going to be very important in this uncertain landscape.  

Another point of interest since march has been an increase in the number of senior management/directors looking to be kept appraised of opportunity in the market. This is perhaps understandable, given that many people at this level had to ‘hold the fort’ whilst other staff were furloughed during different stages of the pandemic and have found themselves under additional pressure.

There has been some movement within the affordable housebuilding sector, as some more prominent players decided to downsize their presence in Scotland or leave the market entirely. However, the investment is still there, and the Scottish Government continues to approve many large-scale schemes.  Therefore, we would expect to see growth with some smaller builders as they pick up these projects instead.

When comparing the latest salary data to that from 2018-2019, it’s clear that salaries have generally come under much more pressure in 2020 and some disciplines have actually seen negative growth, albeit modest.  The general 5-6% increases of the past clearly weren’t sustainable in 2020, as business overheads came under large pressure, recruitment slowed and everyone juggled with lockdowns/Job Retention Schemes.

Position Min (£) Max (£) Average 2019 (£) Average 2020 (£) Difference
Assistant QS 20,000 34,000 26,800 27,100 ▲ 1.12%
Project QS 30,000 50,000 44,250 44,380 ▲ 0.29%
Senior QS 45,000 58,000 54,750 54,700 ▼ -0.09%
Managing QS/Commercial Manager 50,000 70,000 61,600 62,400 ▲ 1.30%
Estimator/Senior Estimator 30,000 65,000 48,150 47,800 ▼ -0.73%
Assistant Site Manager 26,000 44,000 35,150 34,810 ▼ -0.97%
Site Manager 30,000 60,000 48,200 48,600 ▲ 0.83%
Senior Site Manager/Project Manager 46,000 70,000 56,900 57,600 ▲ 1.23%
Contracts Manager 55,000 75,000 63,000 62,600 ▼ -0.63%
Architectural Technician 19,000 40,000 34,000 33,650 ▼ -1.03%
Senior Architectural Technician 37,750 50,000 43,500 43,730 ▲ 0.53%
Civil/Structural Design Engineer 30,000 52,000 44,200 43,600 ▼ -1.36%
Timberframe Designer 22,000 40,000 31,800 31,400 ▼ -1.26%
Land Manager 32,000 65,000 48,500 48,050 ▼ -0.93%
Health & Safety Advisor 20,000 43,000 37,250 36,400 ▼ -2.28%
Health & Safety Manager 38,000 56,000 52,600 51,300 ▼ -2.47%


To download the full 2020/2021 salary review document for comparison across sectors click here.

Please do contact me with your own thoughts and observations on the market; I'd love to hear them.  It is only by having open, honest and confidential conversations with everyone in the sector, that we can continue to provide the best solutions for you as an individual or business. 


Tel: 01786 446651


Live Housing & Property Vacancies

Below are just some of the live vacancies we are currently working on. To discuss your own requirements, please contact or call me on 01786 446651.

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