Scotland's marine economic statistics 2018

Statistics on the economic contributions of Scotland’s marine sectors in 2018. Includes a time series of Gross Value Added (GVA), turnover and employment for industrial categories defined as part of the marine sector.

7. Shipbuilding

7.1 Introduction

Shipbuilding is represented in this report by the SABS SIC codes 30.1: Building of ships and boats and 33.15: Repair and maintenance of ships and boats. As part of the SABS annual publications, Scottish Government publishes a Shipbuilding Profile in the SABS excel tables, where the Scottish shipbuilding sector is analysed in relation to UK economic sectors.

Shipbuilding data can fluctuate considerably due to the spasmodic nature of the industry's business. It can take a number of years to build and sell a ship, so purchase figures may be higher in some years and turnover higher in other years. Company re-structuring within the industry has also contributed to year-on-year fluctuations in statistics for the industry. The ONS estimation methodology produces regional estimates for both Scottish and non-Scottish business sites from single business returns which cover all UK activity. The SIC codes covered in the SABS shipbuilding profile provide a slightly narrower definition than the codes used for these marine economic statistics. 

7.2 Key economic points 

In 2018, Shipbuilding generated £289 million in GVA: accounting for 0.2% of the overall Scottish economy and 7% of the marine economy GVA. Shipbuilding provided employment for 7,100 people (headcount), contributing 0.27% of the total Scottish employment and 10% of the marine economy employment. 

The SABS Shipbuilding Profile reports that Scottish shipbuilding accounted for around 26% of turnover and 14% of GVA of total UK output of the industry in 2018. This is a higher proportion than Scotland's contribution to the whole of manufacturing, where Scotland accounted for around 7% of turnover and 8% of GVA of total UK manufacturing in 2018.

7.3 Shipbuilding – trends

From 2017 to 2018, Shipbuilding GVA (adjusted to 2018 prices) decreased by 41%, while the longer term trend from 2009 to 2018 showed that Shipbuilding GVA decreased by 49%. Employment increased by 3% between 2009 and 2018.

The SABS supporting notes on the Shipbuilding Profile indicate that changes in a small number of (large) companies can have a have a very marked effect on the statistics, particularly on sectoral and local authority figures, from one year to the next. They point out that at this level of analysis (4-digit SIC), particular caution should be exercised when looking at year-on-year changes for the sector. Instead, figures should be used to chart long-term trends.

Table 10: Ship building  - GVA, turnover, employment and GVA per head, 2009 to 2018 (2018 prices)
Year GVA Turnover Employment GVA Per Head
£M £M  '000s £
2009 562 1,514 6.9 81,513
2010 565 1,632 7.1 79,529
2011 553 1,602 7.2 76,856
2012 510 1,682 7.1 71,870
2013 452 1,332 7.0 64,574
2014 552 1,511 7.3 75,644
2015 460 1,738 7.2 63,909
2016 213 1,124 7.2 29,544
2017 488 1,562 7.7 63,351
2018 289 1,238 7.1 40,676

Figure 11 shows the long term trend, demonstrating considerable fluctuation over the period 2009 to 2018. Over the same period, employment increased slightly to around 7,100 workers.  

Figure 11: Shipbuilding - GVA and employment, Scotland, 2009 to 2018 (2018 prices)
Figure 11 - Chart showing trends from 2009 to 2018 in the shipbuilding sector GVA and employment. GVA shown at 2018 prices.

7.4 Shipbuilding – by geography

The SABS Shipbuilding profile reports that the top three local authority areas in the shipbuilding sector in 2018 were Glasgow City, Aberdeen City and Fife, which together accounted for 73% of employment, 83% of turnover and 74% of GVA in the sector. It is not possible to supply a full individual list of local authorities with shipbuilding activity without being disclosive.



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