The Green Alliance has just published a policy insight report setting out the data and arguments for investment in a range of nature-based investments which would bring about environmental improvement, assist climate change mitigation and deliver social and economic benefits, notably in job creation for areas of the country where there is a distinct labour market challenge.
The summary report and accompanying detailed analysis include focused case studies on some specific potential actions, such as habitat restoration for bogs and seagrass, and tree planting and park creation. These specific examples within a broader approach for green jobs help to build that compelling case, especially given the downstream wider potential skills development, higher level job creation, and broad long-term societal benefits.
The detailed report shows the impacts diagrammatically.
There isn’t a specific read-across to the historic environment within the report, but the links can be seen – from allied research and operations associated with understanding and managing the cultural landscape as nature-based investment is made, to shared skills enhancement and longer-term job creation which benefits both the natural and historic environment.
Figure 10 in the detailed report provides a breakdown of jobs in Scotland in nature-based activities and nature-dependent sectors in 2019 with 195,300 total jobs, noting that 2% of these are specifically related to museums and cultural activities, with a further proportions being travel/recreation and hospitality-related, and natural craft skills which are intimately tied to the heritage of localities.
The pandemic has affected the jobs market and career paths for many already working in the heritage sector, whether as a result of organisational crisis or operational response to Covid resulting in furlough, job reduction or loss, and the need for reskilling and resilience building on a personal and professional level to manage a way through a year of uncertainty.
There is a further group of aspiring workers trying to enter or develop their career within the sector: 2 years’ worth of students who graduated in 2020 and those about to graduate in the summer or autumn of 2021 are also searching for opportunities and advice. I’m currently working on an updated version of the Heritage Careers Guide published in late 2019 in association with BEFS and The Heritage Alliance, and am reviewing the best places to go to for advice and jobs listings, as well as gathering some excellent resources which have appeared over the past year as a result of Covid-19 to support professional development and up- or re-skilling. I’m also cognisant of the aims of organisations such as Fair Museum Jobs to support a healthy, equal and supportive employment environment in the sector, and am hoping to include some commentary from the FMJ team on what to look for in an employer.
In the meantime before the new guide appears here, some useful updated advice and resources have been made available on the Museums Association website, and UCL’s Careers Service has produced a specific podcast recording of a panel discussion with really useful perspectives on jobs and recruitment in the Museums, Arts & Cultural Heritage sector (see Episode 2).
I have been working for a little while on compiling useful links for finding a job in the heritage sector based on recommendations made to students over many years. The final result has been spruced up into a small booklet, now available to download. Hopefully it will prove useful to anybody wanting a ‘go to’ list of places to start job hunting. It isn’t exhaustive, and will be further developed over time in association with BEFS and the Heritage Alliance.