Scotland is at the forefront of the world’s green recovery and has set a target of meeting net zero emissions by 2045.
This transition will transform the economy and the way we live and it will be achieved through the jobs that we do and the new skills needed to thrive in a net zero economy.
The Scottish Government set out a Circular Economy Strategy in 2016, recognising the role that resource use has on climate change. Four fifths of Scotland’s carbon footprint is caused by the consumption of goods, services and materials!
COVID-19 has had a big impact on the way we live and we are now facing rising unemployment following the economic downturn. It’s therefore now more important than ever that people are supported into good, fair, green jobs, and that a focus is placed on circular thinking and developing a skilled, flexible, and adaptable workforce.
The Scottish Government have recognised that ‘enhancing access to skills training is critical for successful decarbonisation and will help create new, high-quality green jobs, regional growth, and improved access to growing ‘green markets’ across the globe for Scotland’s diverse businesses.’
While many will benefit from the transition, some workers and communities could be left behind and may face challenges in accessing the opportunities. It is therefore vitally important that the country’s skills system is agile and responsive to changes in demand, and also embraces new technology solutions to help ensure a better future for all.
Upskilling and acquiring new skills in green jobs including those in renewable energy, the circular economy and zero waste, and the nature based sector will play a big part. Sectors supporting the transition to net zero, including energy, transport, construction, agriculture and manufacturing will also be crucially important.
As we create a greener Scotland, to thrive, skills sharing will be at the very heart of our future. Access to training is going to change through new technological developments through programmes such as @CivTech and innovations like @SkillSeeder. There will soon be more opportunity than ever before to acquire new skills, whatever your age, background or wherever you are located, whether it be in a city or a rural and remote location.
During the past 12 months we’ve relied on technology to keep in touch and carry on with our jobs remotely. 2021 will see technology create a better future for our changing world, not just for the health of the planet, but through quality skills that ensure a brighter and more prosperous future for all.