Scotland's capital is going to be a boom town for at least 10 years, according to Robert Smith of Hays Construction & Property

The construction and property market in Edinburgh remains buoyant in both the public and private sectors. High levels of demand are expected to continue, and many large-scale projects are due to last for the next 10 years. Employers in the region have reacted to this by focusing on methods to increase staff retention rates, such as improving working conditions, increasing salaries and offering more career development opportunities.

What's going on?

There are three key projects under way. The New Queen Margaret College development, which is worth about £77m, is due for completion in 2009. Quartermile is a £400m mixed-use redevelopment of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, due to be completed by 2012. The third is the Edinburgh Waterfront development. This 15-year scheme began in 2004 and comprises numerous residential and commercial projects. When it's finished in 2020, Edinburgh will be able to boast a new waterfront, thanks to the combined development of Granton Harbour, Granton Gas Works, Western Harbour and Leith Docks. In addition, the Scottish parliament recently approved the Edinburgh Tram Bill, which will introduce two tram lines to the city.

Edinburgh Waterfront is a 15-year regeneration scheme that is transforming the city’s old docks
Edinburgh Waterfront is a 15-year regeneration scheme that is transforming the city’s old docks

Good for …

Most people - the projects have improved employment levels across all disciplines.

Semi-skilled operatives are in particularly high demand and there are numerous opportunities for qualified tradesmen. Engineers will find no shortage of opportunities over the coming years; in particular those with experience in traffic and transportation. Finally, it's a good time to be a graduate. Akash Marwaha, regional manager of Hays Construction & Property, says: "Employers are now showing that they're more than willing to give them the financial support, training and work experience they need."

Bad for …

Employers who are unwilling to invest in and support junior employees. Candidates at all levels in Edinburgh can be quite particular about their choice of employer.

How much would I get paid?

Salaries in Scotland are competitive and relocating to cities such as Edinburgh can mean an excellent standard of living.

Marwaha says: "We have recently helped two experienced commercial managers to relocate to the Edinburgh area; both achieved salary packages in excess of £50,000 and were assisted with relocation costs."

How far would my salary go?

  • Price of a pint of Tennants: £2.10
  • Dinner for two at Duck’s at le Marché Noir, wine not included: £44
  • “Platinum” season ticket for Hearts: £425
  • Average price of a house: £153,596