My Column

Jobs of the future given green light

  • Date: Monday 19th December 2022
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The recruitment landscape is constantly and changing and evolving and there are certain skill-sets that are only going to become more and more sought-after.


This is particularly true of green jobs.


I was impressed to note that Scotland is currently leading the way when it comes to the creation of new green jobs, according to new data from PwC’s second edition of its Green Jobs Barometer.


The phrase ‘green jobs’ is actually pretty broad, covering a whole range of areas of expertise that can include anything from green energy and agriculture to research and development, manufacturing and more.


For the purposes of the PwC report, the jobs it classed as ‘green’ had to meet certain criteria such as producing environmentally friendly products and services or adapting working processes to become more eco-conscious.  


The findings revealed 3 .3 per cent of Scottish job ads have been for roles that have a positive impact on the environment, which is up from 1.7 per cent from last year.  


Of course this isn’t solely a Scottish trend.  The UK as a whole has seen an increase in green roles, but we’re definitely ahead of the curve. With almost 25,000 roles in 2022, we’ve had the highest proportion of green job ads.  


The green economy is becoming increasingly important so the fact we’re leading the way in this area is something to be proud of, and something we need to continue excelling at as demand grows.


Something that employers would do well to remember is that today’s workers really care about how green companies are when they decide where they want to work.


In fact, data shows that rising numbers of prospective employees (particularly younger workers) actually put environmental credentials over salary when they’re looking for a job.


Before we get over excited about topping the leaderboard in the UK on the green jobs front, I should point out that we aren’t the top in Europe. In fact we’re far from it.


If you want to see a really exciting example of how it’s done well, look to Iceland. The country is truly pioneering when it comes to proactively investing into the green economy and the small nation is now well on its way towards becoming powered by 100% renewable energy.  


Green by Iceland – an initiative set up by members of industry and government - aims to promote the country’s sustainable and renewable energy solutions, while also helping other economies and businesses speed up their green transitions.  


It’s hard to believe that just 50 years ago, Iceland was classed as a developing nation, and now the country is a world leader in the green economy.  


As we strive to do even better, it’s so important to look to shining examples like Iceland and follow their lead.



We’re moving in the right direction but we can definitely learn some valuable lessons from other countries as we strive to up our game.


Who knows, maybe we too could one day run solely on renewable energy.


We also need to make sure we’re teaching kids about the importance of the green economy from an early age. We need to pique their interest and get them excited about the exciting roles our there 0- roles which play a vital role in meeting green targets and ultimately making a difference.


In the last few weeks alone, an additional 600 new green jobs have been created in Scotland, thanks to the launch of a new carbon capture project in the North Sea. The £3bn Seagreen offshore windfarm, a partnership between SSE Renewables and TotalEnergies, will provide an economic as well as a jobs boost.


I’ve spoken about the importance of teaching youngsters about roles like this, but it’s also important to mention the opportunities green jobs bring to our current skilled workforce.


There is a real opportunity to upskill those working in traditional trades, such as electricians and plumbers, whose expertise is potentially transferrable to a diverse range of green roles, from the installation of biomass boilers to electric vehicle engineers.


Scotland has the foundations to be the green jobs hotspot of Europe. We are innovators and we’re making significant waves when it comes to green investments, particularly in offshore renewables, carbon capture, and as I wrote about a few weeks ago, hydrogen storage.


I hope the investment in green jobs continues as I know we have the knowledge and the talent to shine.



Side (275 words) 

Complaining about the commute to and from work is practically a national pastime in this country.  Whether it’s being stuck in gridlocked traffic or running late due to cancelled trains, it’s hard to avoid peoples’ gripes.   


However, for those who work shifts, getting home from work can be much more of a problem.  A lack of late-night public transport in most cities and towns across Scotland can make it difficult for workers to get home safely and cheaply, meaning many have to go to the expense of paying for a taxi or take the risk of walking home in the early hours.   


So I was pleased to hear that Glasgow City Council has become the latest local authority to back Unite the union’s ‘Get Me Home Safely’ campaign which calls on employers to provide free transport home for all workers in the hospitality industry past 11pm.   


The campaign, which was launched in 2021, strives to embed safe transport home policies for all workers in the hospitality sector, and has already been backed by councils including Falkirk, Dundee, and East Dunbartonshire.   


It's ridiculous that we don’t already have a public transport network that provides round the clock services but until that happens I think this is a positive step which will hopefully make people feel safer when trying to do something so many of us take for granted.   


The struggles to recruit new staff members into the sector are well documented, so hopefully this move goes some way to improving the appeal of the industry to prospective workers who may have had concerns about traveling home after a late night shift.   




Do you like the sound of a restaurant that proudly rates its own service as 1-star, where waiters shout and swear at patrons, and “the customer is always wrong”?


I certainly don’t, but apparently I’m in the minority, if the fanfare following the announcement that Karen’s Diner is coming to Edinburgh is anything to go by.   


Karen’s Diner promises customers the worst service they’ll ever receive, and videos of their staff members verbally mocking customers at their 17 outlets across Australia, New Zealand, and the United States have generated lots of attention in recent months.   


The pop-up is coming to the capital in February 2023 and people are being urged to book their places now to avoid disappointment. It’s not my idea of fun but their popularity shows the business model obviously works!   




I was disappointed to hear that M&Co has fallen into administration for a second time.  The Scottish fashion retailer currently employs almost 2,000 members of staff and operates 170 stores across the UK, but unfortunately, poor footfall and soaring costs have taken effect.   


No immediate redundancies have been made and the business will continue to trade while a buyer is sought, but the retailer has closed down two stores in England in the last week. 


Originally founded in Paisley back in 1961, M&Co is a Scottish institution, and it’s sad to see such a well-known business in this position. 



This illustrates the difficulties businesses are facing and will continue to face in the coming months. I sincerely hope a solution is found which results in as few job losses as possible. 

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