Do you like working outdoors in the fresh air, or like the idea of working with animals? You might like working with engines or machinery, or help save the world from the impact of global warming! If this all seems wide ranging, then you will find that this career area stretches across many disciplines, abilities and areas of expertise, from science, forestry, to fishing or mechanics!
The landbased, aquaculture and environmental industry in Scotland has around 23,680 businesses and almost 150,000 employees.
What areas can I work in?
This career area is concerned with the natural world and appeals to those interested in animal care, the countryside, planting and landscaping, and the environment.
The jobs and courses for this area are in eight sectors: agriculture, aquaculture and fishing, arboriculture and horticulture, earth studies, environmental and rural resource management, environmental services, forestry and working with animals.
What kind of companies can I work for?
Possible employers include:
agricultural chemical manufacturing companies
livestock farms or fisheries
stables and riding schools
zoos and wildlife parks
What’s the job market like?
According to Lantra (the Sector Skills Council for food based and environmental businesses), advances in technology, such as automation to reduce human labour, means there is increasing demand for highly skilled staff in this industry. As well as essential skills and knowledge, for example, health and safety, literacy and numeracy, the most sought-after skills are:
ICT (such as robotics), and
leadership and management (successful planning, entrepreneurial skills, knowledge skills).
In many cases, job prospects can depend on where you live, or are prepared to live, as well as on the type of work you do and your qualifications.
Growing awareness of climate change and the need for sustainable development is also creating opportunities for younger entrants with transferable skills. Given that this industry’s workforce has an older age distribution, the sector estimates it will need up to 30,000 more people by 2020, as more workers retire.
Facts and figures
Forestry in Scotland contributes £1 billion to the economy, supporting over 25,000 employees.
It is estimated that a further 360,000 jobs (1 in 10 of all Scottish jobs) are dependent on agriculture.
Agriculture directly employs 67,000 people in Scotland, and is the third largest employer in rural Scotland.
The beef industry is the largest sector of Scottish agriculture.
The UK horticulture industry is worth over £5 million each year.
There are over 2,000 garden centre businesses in the UK, employing over 64,000 people.
It is expected by 2020 the animal care industry will need a minimum of 90,000 new entrants.
There are currently over 4,500 arboriculture businesses across the UK employing around 24,000 people.
There are around 250 equine businesses in Scotland, with an estimated 1,000 full or part time employees.
Some 1,500 people are employed in aquaculture in Scotland, mainly in rural areas of the north and west.
It is predicted that a further 4,000 people will be required in the landbased engineering industry by 2020 to meet increased demand.
Want to find out more?
Lantra is the Sector Skills Council for food based and environmental businesses. You can find more information about the sectors it covers and related careers and training pathways on the Lantra Careers website.