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New report on green jobs in Scotland released during COP27

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A new report created by the universities of Warwick and Strathclyde suggests that the demand for green jobs in Scotland is rising rapidly. The Green Jobs In Scotland report discovered that up to 100,000 positions are either new or emerging green industry jobs as Scotland continues to work toward a net zero future.

The report was announced at the Scottish Careers Week and Youth Generations Day at COP27, highlighting that green jobs provide higher than average salaries and that the younger age group of between 25 are 29 holds most of these jobs. Richard Lochhead, the Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work, explains that Scotland’s green jobs revolution is well underway and welcomed the new report, stating that it is positive to see a transformation of green opportunities in Scotland. Lochhead emphasised how appropriate it was with COP27 to highlight the importance that as we shift our society and economy toward a net zero future that no person or region is left behind.

The report was delivered by the Implementation Steering Group, supporting Scotland’s Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan, with additional backing from Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and the Government of Scotland. The report suggested that the demand for green jobs spread nationwide, but numbers were higher in the east and southwest of Scotland. Furthermore, the report indicated that over a quarter of all green industry jobs in Scotland already exist but require additional skills or training. 

Based on these findings, the report recommended structuring green jobs into three separate categories: new and emerging, existing jobs that require further training and other jobs which are now more in demand.

According to David Reay, professor at the University of Edinburgh and chair of the Implementation Steering Group, Scotland is one of the first in the world to define green industry opportunities in this manner. Reay explains that this interpretation is critical for Scotland and means all those with a vested interest in the skills system. can apply this information to understand the demands and inequalities. Reay states that Scotland is one of the first countries to provide a clear definition that matches their jobs and skills market, and as data updates in real-time, they can refine and establish responses to ensure Scotland has the right skills for the future.

Despite the positives highlighted concerning Scotland’s move toward net zero, the report also highlighted that more is needed to tackle a significant gender imbalance in green industry jobs. Women continue to be under-represented in this industry, with over 72% of men and only 28% of women holding roles. Natalie Buxton, chair of the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board Gender Commissions, explains that we recognise that women are significantly under-represented in industries such as engineering and construction, which provide high-value opportunities and better pay. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that such a large amount of green jobs are held by men.

Buxton highlights a lot that employers, government and other influencers can do to tackle gender diversity. The Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board’s Gender Commissions provides clear recommendations on what actions to take in the short and long term to address this issue.

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