NatureScot Placement Schemes

NatureScot Programme for Youth Employment (PYE)

The Programme is an exciting opportunity for us to develop skills for the future in Scotland’s nature agency and to increase the number of young employees in our organisation. The Programme offers exciting opportunities to gain valuable skills and experience through a variety of different paid roles across the organisation. Details of the different placements can be seen below this video.


In these videos, our young NatureScot staff share their experiences and tips on how to get started with a career in the environmental sector. View our playlist of all early career advice for budding environmentalists.

Early career tips from young NatureScot staff

1. Project Placement Scheme

Our scheme offers new graduates the opportunity to work in NatureScot on a new project .Topics vary each year and will be based in different teams. Each placement is for 2 years. 

Projects could fall within these broad topics:

  • Actions to reverse biodiversity loss.
  • Implementing Nature based solutions to tackle climate change.
  • Supporting sustainable wildlife management.
  • Managing Protected nature sites.
  • Encouraging more people to enjoy nature.
  • Green finance and natural capital
  • Transforming how we work

To be eligible for the scheme you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have graduated at degree or postgraduate level from a higher level education institution within the past 4 years;
  • Not be currently studying full-time;
  • Have had no more than one year’s relevant (graduate level) work experience since their last graduation;
  • Have the relevant skills to undertake the project.

The scheme will be advertised in May.

2. Practical Placement Scheme

Our 2 year practical placements are development roles offering opportunities to work in a practical role on our National Nature Reserves (NNR) across Scotland. They offer a chance to gain practical nature conservation skills.

Eligibility for a Practical Placement.

You must:

  • Be taking time out from studies in a relevant subject to gain practical experience; or
  • Have completed a diploma or degree in the last year in a relevant subject;
  • Have had no more than one year's relevant work experience since completing your qualification.

The scheme will be advertised in April.

3. Modern Apprenticeships

We will be advertising Modern Apprenticeship positions across Scotland. These combine working towards a qualification with on-the-job experience, letting people work, learn and earn at the same time.

Modern Apprenticeships will help NatureScot help develop our workforce by training new staff and upskilling existing employees.

A modern Apprenticeship is:

  • A paid post for 2 years
  • For anyone from age 16 upwards.
  • Aimed at offering a qualification whilst in a post (SCQF level 5 -6/HNC/HND level). Based on existing Frameworks set up by Skills Development Scotland (SDS)

We expect to offer a variety of different Modern Apprenticeships under several SDS Frameworks such as Rural Skills, Business Administration, Digital Applications, Construction, Payroll, Occupational Health, etc.

Keep an eye out for the Modern Apprenticeship opportunities, to be advertised soon.

4. Trainee Operations Officers

The Trainee Operations Officer roles offer an opportunity to work in an operational role in an Area based team over a 2 year period.  Individuals will gain experience of a range of disciplines in NatureScot’s frontline work.

A Trainee Operations Role is

  • A paid post for 2 years.
  • For anyone with a relevant qualification and/or equivalent experience in natural history subject.
  • For anyone not currently studying full time.
  • For anyone who has skills and experience to undertake the role.

Keep an eye out for the Trainee Operations Officer opportunities, to be advertised soon.

Find out more

To see current opportunities please see our Vacancies page.

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