Net Zero Community of Practice

The second event in the EDAS Net Zero Community of Practice: ‘Stimulating Green, Just, and Nature-Based Jobs” welcomed practitioners from across the field of Economic Development to listen to speakers from Skills Development Scotland, NatureScot and The Bunloit Rewilding Project. The session covered the business perspective behind green jobs, advice to practitioners on how to support, as well as a compelling rural case study from entrepreneur Jeremy Leggett.


– Charlie Woods, EDAS Vice Chair and Director of Scottish Universities Insight Institute

– David Coyne, Senior Policy Advisor, Skills Development Scotland

– Claudia Rowse, Deputy Director of Sustainable Growth, NatureScot

– Jeremy Leggett, Executive Director, The Bunloit Rewilding Project


Recording of session

Click on the video below to play. You can download the slides here.

Key points from speakers

David Coyne, Senior Policy Advisor, Skills Development Scotland
– The Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan represents the distillation of research into key themes and actions. It will be delivered by partnership initiatives, jointly by Skills Development Scotland and other organisations.

– The Action Plan is focused around six priorities: Supporting a green labour market recovery from COVID-19; Building better understanding and evidence of future skills needs to support Scotland’s transition to Net Zero; Developing the future workforce for the transition to Net Zero; Driving awareness and action to support reskilling and upskilling for the transition to Net Zero; Ensuring fairness and inclusion in the skills system as part of a just  transition to Net Zero; Taking a collaborative approach to ensure a skills system responsive to changing demands.

– The current aim of The Green Jobs Workforce Academy is to inform the workforce about green job opportunities and is now approaching its second phase which will include a combination of education, lobbying and direct provision.

Claudia Rowse, Deputy Director of Sustainable Growth, NatureScot

– A ‘green job’ currently has no confirmed definition, but NatureScot define it as a role that contributes to preserving or restoring the planet’s environment.

– Nature-based jobs are slightly different, they cover a wide range of roles within both rural and urban economies. Roles include: green finance, green infrastructure, nature-based solutions, land use, nature based tourism and sustainable marine management.

– Claudia highlighted six actions to grow the nature based sector: Inspire young people; Increase climate and nature literacy; Address career progression and sector attractiveness; Address skills planning; Provide training and upskill within micor-businesses; Understand demand.

Jeremy Leggett, Executive Director at The Bunloit Rewilding Project

– Jeremy is in charge of two rewilding projects, one in Bunloit (near Inverness) and Beldowney (in Aberdeenshire). Rewilding projects like these have seen a 47% increase in FTE jobs when compared to traditional estate management.

– They now have a team of 18, most of whom are from surrounding communities.

– Through projects like Bunloit and Beldowney, there is an opportunity to turn Scotland into a rewilding centre of excellence.

– As the projects develop there are opportunities to create jobs in the following areas: Natural-capital verification science and baseline accountancy; Carbon & biodiversity (additive management interventions); Forestry and forestry products; Rewilding retreats (different from eco-toruism); Regenerative agriculture; Eco-building (specifically affordable housing for local communities)