A worker in a safety hat looking at materials

The Future of Work

27 Feb 23

Baseline Employment Analysis and Skills Pathways for the Circular Economy in Scotland.

As Scotland moves towards the new green recovery, the future world of work looks very different. Like the climate emergency, COVID-19 has brought devastation on a local, national and global scale.  

But the pandemic has also shown that it is feasible to adopt more sustainable ways of working to ensure that the economy and the environment recover in harmony to overcome both crises at once. We need to keep on doing things differently. 

'The Future of Work: Baseline Employment Analysis and Skills Pathways for the Circular Economy' report by Zero Waste Scotland and Circle Economy is the first assessment of its kind. It provides vital data on how sustainable the nation’s workforce is now – and how to drive progress forward by creating valuable new jobs and businesses to forge a truly circular economy.   

It reveals that nearly one in ten Scottish jobs nationally and regionally is already related to the circular economy. Many of these posts are in core circular economy areas like repairing and recycling goods, while substantial numbers are in design and technology. Circular jobs and activities also varied by region, suggesting that emerging green recovery policies must take account of local needs. 

The report also highlights key opportunities to make the leap from one in ten circular jobs to ten out of ten by pioneering a range of exciting new roles – and developing the skills Scotland needs to turn those job opportunities into reality. Three key priority areas of work were identified to help forge the green recovery - construction, bioeconomy and capital projects - such as decommissioning Scotland’s oil rigs and wind farms.

Report Authors

Zero Waste Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland exists to lead Scotland to use products and resources responsibly, focusing on where we can have the greatest impact on climate change. Using evidence and insight, our goal is to inform policy, and motivate individuals and businesses to embrace the environmental, economic, and social benefits of a circular economy. We are a not-for-profit environmental organisation, funded by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund. 

Circle Economy

Circle Economy is an impact organisation that connects and empowers a global community to create the conditions for a transformation towards the circular economy. Its mission is to accelerate the transition to the circular economy through practical and scalable insights and solutions that address humanity’s greatest challenges. The Circular Jobs Initiative is a knowledge centre within Circle Economy that aims to ensure the transition to the circular economy is positive for work and workers.