NatureScot has launched an action plan for 2021-2022 to boost nature-based jobs to help Scotland meet its target of net-zero by 2045. The action plan sets out how NatureScot, working with partners, aims to fill the gaps and realise the potential of jobs within the nature-based sector.
A key focus is on developing initiatives to encourage young people into nature-based careers and working with partners to address barriers to minority communities entering the sector. This is one of four priority themes identified in the plan:
identify four priority themes where we can add value, and where there are evident gaps:
- Strategic Engagement – to help identify and support the mainstreaming of skills required for the implementation of nature-based solutions across the Scottish economy.
- Engaging and inspiring young people – to support and empower young people gaining skills and accessing employment in nature-based sectors. This will contribute to efforts to address unemployment, develop a future workforce in sectors with a key role to play in reaching net-zero and support a Green Recovery from Covid-19. Co-design with young people will play an important part in developing the measures proposed.
- Understanding demand – work to better understand skills gaps and shortages at a regional level and in key sectors, to help ensure that that skills relevant to implementation of nature-based solutions are being developed and supported throughout a range of disciplines. This will be through targeted, collaborative research on the current and future skills needs of nature-based sectors.
- Peatland restoration and nature-based solutions – to lead a collaborative approach to identifying, quantifying and addressing skills shortages in peatland restoration and implementation of nature-based solutions.
Francesca Osowska, NatureScot Chief Executive, said:
We know that nature-based solutions can contribute around 30% to reducing Scotland emissions, but that currently we don’t have sufficient skills in place in order to fully realise this potential.
Our initial priority focusses on providing skills pathways for young people to enter the nature-based sector. From peatland ecologists, hydrologists and engineers to jobs in green finance, remote-sensing, natural flood management and low-carbon architecture, we want to inspire and engage young people with the growing number of roles and skills available. At NatureScot we are pleased to be contributing through our own £1 million youth employment programme supporting 37 modern apprenticeships, student and graduate placements.
NatureScot has also committed to working with partners on longer term actions for nature jobs.