Nature Restoration Jobs and Skills Conference
13 March 2023
13 March 2023
Scotland’s first online Nature Restoration Jobs and Skills was held on Monday 13th March 2023 to demonstrate how nature restoration can tackle the nature and climate emergency and provide attractive new opportunities for business and for Scotland’s current and future workforce.
The conference was for everyone interested in skills; learning and careers agencies and policy makers, enterprise and economic development agencies, learning and training providers, careers service providers, environmental eNGOs, sector representatives that are or could be engaged in activity related to nature restoration (e.g. land-based sector, nature conservation sector, civil engineering sector)
We heard from a range of speakers on Scotland’s ambition for nature restoration, the skills we need to meet that ambition and what the Scottish Government and its partners are doing to support the development of a skilled, inclusive workforce for nature restoration.
Ms Lorna Slater - Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity
Francesca Osowska – CEO, NatureScot:
'Why we need to restore Scotland’s Nature'
Nikki Yoxall - UK Nature Friendly Farming Network:
'Skills for nature friendly farming'
Claudia Rowse – Deputy Director Green Economy & Wildlife Management, NatureScot
Liz Barron-Majerik – Director, Lantra Scotland:
'Supporting a thriving and more diverse nature-based sector'
Gail Hurley – Director of Advisory, Finance Earth:
'Skills to secure and deliver green finance projects'
Aekus Kamboj - Environmental Officer CEMVO (Council for Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisations:
'The benefits of a more diverse nature-based workforce'
Hannah Williams – WSP,
Megan Bregazzi – Forestry and Land Scotland,
Luke Taylor - Countryside Ranger
'Working for Nature Restoration'
We are working collaboratively with employers, industry bodies and government agencies to address and assess the green skills gaps and support development of a net zero aligned curriculum. We must ensure that upskilling and reskilling opportunities are accessible and affordable, and we must ensure that we are properly incentivizing people to pick greener, more sustainable jobs.
Nature restoration is crucial to tackling the climate emergency and reaching net zero. We need the right people in the right place, at the right time, with the right mix of skills, all working together, to make that happen.
Farmers place most trust in peers and other farmers to learn about new soil practices and are less trusting of traditional ‘experts’. On farm nature restoration requires us to embrace new challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, learn from criticism and find inspiration in the success of others.
It’s wonderful to see such a range of people attending from educators, training providers, policy makers, local authority environment teams and quite a few students too which is reassuring in terms of the next generation of people we need to get involved in caring for Scotland’s nature.
Many young people want to make a difference. They want to bring about change and to be part of something bigger that is having an impact. Take whatever you find most interesting here today and spread the word. Become a STEM Ambassador - connect with schools and community groups…and then tell them your story.
Workplace inclusion is not just the ‘right thing to do’- we need an environmental sector that enables people from diverse backgrounds to use their talent to achieve their potential and contribute fully.
My career in ecology has been so rewarding and has taken me from Unst in Shetland to the Isle of Wight. My recent work advising the public and private sector on how to achieve Biodiversity Net Gain has made me feel I’m really making a difference now.
My job as didn’t exist when I first decided I wanted to work outdoors. Things are changing all the time and the job you end up in might not exist yet.
I got into wildlife rangering through an apprenticeship route. I think if you can manage to find an apprenticeship, that is probably best way to get into this kind of work because you get to learn about nature, place and people on the job.
Some of the resources and links referred to at the conference:
CEMVO Race Equality Environmental Programme
Skill Seeder Skill Sharing Platform
OWLS (Outdoor and Woodland Learning Scotland)
NatureScot Nature-based Jobs and Skills Webpage
Green Jobs for Nature Website - what a green job for nature is, how to get one, and who you can work for.
Commission for Land-based Learning Review Report to Ministers
Creag Meagaidh Nature-based Skills Video
Ian Jackson at Ayrshire Rivers Trust – Part of Working with Rivers Project
Peatland Restoration at Lynaberack Estate, Glentromie
Tweed Forum Peatland Restoration Video – Rachel Coyle
Saving Scotland's Rainforest presents Rainforest People - John Taylor
Saving Scotland's Rainforest presents Rainforest People - Jacquelyn Condie
If you have any queries regarding this event, please email: [email protected]