A new pilot project has been launched with the aim of increasing diversity in nature-based jobs.

CEMVO Scotland and NatureScot have partnered on the Ethnicity in Nature Programme, which will provide four mentored placements for minority ethnic young people aged 18-29.

The salaried placements will be hosted by NatureScot where young people will gain experience of the wide range of nature-based jobs and career paths available.

The programme addresses a key issue identified in both Backbone CIC’s recent Changing Landscapes Actioning Change Report and NatureScot’s recent Action Plan for Nature-based Jobs and Skills on the need to increase diversity in nature-based sectors.

Claudia Rowse, NatureScot Deputy Director of Sustainable Growth, said: “Our research identified barriers to minority communities entering the sector and we know that we need to broaden diversity within our own workforce. Through this innovative project we want to begin to break these barriers down, reaching and engaging with young people who may not have thought of a career in nature-based sectors.

“These placements will give minority ethnic young people real experience working on a wide range of interesting and worthwhile projects, and we hope this will be just the start of a longer-term programme to increase the representation of ethnic minority communities within the nature-based workforce.

“This targeted project will also complement our wider £1 million programme for youth employment, which has so far supported around 40 new posts including modern and graduate apprenticeships, project and practical placements, trainee roles and internships, all of which will develop nature-based skills for now and into the future.”

Colin Lee, CEO of CEMVO Scotland, said: We are delighted to be working in partnership with NatureScot on this important initiative. CEMVO works with quite a number of environmental and nature-related organisations to help progress race equality and know through our work that there is under-representation of EM people working within this sector. It is therefore good to see initiatives such as the one being delivered through NatureScot to address this imbalance, and one which we are fully supportive of.”

The placements will run from January 5 – March 30 2022 and applications close November 29th. For more information, visit: www.cemvoscotland.org.uk/job/ethnicity-in-nature-programme-placement.