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New funding for river restoration training offers 'valuable experience'

By Tom Ramage

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Organisations and businesses are being urged to apply for a share of new funding to support development of nature-based skills in river restoration.

The Working with Rivers training scheme will fund up to 20 paid placements of 12-weeks duration.

The placements will offer training and high quality, on-the-job experience in river restoration, natural flood management, control of invasive non-native species and riverside woodland creation.

The River Spey winds on its journey north to the sea
The River Spey winds on its journey north to the sea

NatureScot has secured National Transition Training Fund support from Skills Development Scotland to run Working with Rivers.

Organisations or businesses interested in hosting a placement are invited to apply for up to £7,500 per placement to recruit one or more trainees. Applications are open until January 7.

NatureScot’s Action Plan for nature-based jobs identified the need to develop more career pathways into river restoration and natural flood management.

Claudia Rowse, NatureScot’s deputy director of sustainable growth, said: “Natural flood management and river restoration are key nature-based solutions that are essential in helping us to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. There is great potential for the growth of nature-based jobs in these areas as we transition to net-zero, but this will require a range of new and enhanced skills.

“These paid placements will give individuals valuable experience and help them to develop the skills required to move into employment in this sector. In doing so they will also increase capacity to support the kind of river restoration projects that are so essential in tackling the twin nature and climate change crises.”

Marissa Lippiatt, head of climate emergency at Skills Development Scotland, said: “SDS is working with a range of partners including NatureScot to identify and support the development of green jobs and skills resulting from climate change.

“The Working with Rivers training scheme is a good example of how the National Transition Training Fund can be used in support of this ambition, helping people gain in-demand skills that can unlock new opportunities.”

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