Valuing Our Skilled Rural Workforce

In the first Year of Employment, #YofE2023, article we learned

- that fishing and shooting sustain almost double the number of full-time direct jobs created by all of Scotland’s biggest conservation charities, combined, click here.

- we learned that direct full-time fishing and shooting jobs were higher in number than those created by global giant Amazon, the BBC and newspaper industry, salmon farming, Forestry and Land Scotland and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, click here

This skilled workforce is delivering climate, conservation and biodiversity benefits to Scotland, largely free of charge.

This will be vital in the quest for Net Zero.

But there’s more...


Valuing Our Skilled Rural Workforce

Did You Know?

Fishing and shooting sustain more Direct full time jobs (4400 jobs) in Scotland than:

Onshore Wind (1400 direct jobs)
Offshore Wind (1900 direct jobs) and
Hydro schemes (700 direct jobs) combined (1)

They sustain more than double the number of direct jobs than is supported by Adventure Tourism (1662 direct jobs) (2)

More direct jobs than Scotland’s publicly owned national water supplier, Scottish Water (3600) (3)

and more than Double the jobs (in Scotland alone) that the RSPB- one of the world’s largest conservation charities- employs across ALL of its UK nature reserves (2133 direct jobs) (4)

Valuing Our Skilled Rural Workforce

What is the value of these jobs?

The majority of these fishing and shooting jobs are in remote or very remote parts of Scotland with sparse, scattered populations.

These communities endure persistent depopulation.

Addressing Rural depopulation is a national concern.

According to National Records of Scotland, 71% of Scotland’s population live in cities.

Valuing Our Skilled Rural Workforce

Keeping jobs and young people in remote or very remote areas is challenging.

These places suffer from constraints such as poor connectivity, higher fuel poverty and access to services. In some communities housing shortages are being exacerbated by short-term letting.

Predictions for the Highland Council area, for example, suggest most council wards will suffer increased depopulation in the coming years.

Some opponents of fishing and game shooting want to see these sectors curtailed.

Losing 4400 direct full-time jobs is not compatible with repopulating fragile communities.

Neither is it the case that the quest for rural solutions means either/or scenarios.

Recommendation 13 of Scotland’s Rural Planning Policy to 2050, states:

Land based industries retain an important role in managing Scotland’s environment and in providing a range of benefits for wider society. They also have potential for a part of the future diversification of the rural economy. Planning and other policy areas impacting on land based industries should support their viability wherever possible.(5)_

This echoes a key message of #YofE2023.

Scotland’s 4th National Planning Framework: Position Statement (6) acknowledges that, despite a ‘general shift in the rural economy away from such reliance on traditional land based industries, such industries continue to play an important role, especially in Remote and Sparsely Populated Areas.

#YofE2023 is a celebration of the skills and knowledge of workers on river and land, providing benefits to Scotland, largely free of charge.

These 4400 direct full-time jobs will be a valuable resource to Scotland in its quest for Net Zero. By working with the sector, decision makers can help value the resource Scotland has at its disposal and ensure that the nation benefits from what rural workers offer and can deliver.

Valuing Our Skilled Rural Workforce

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