The move to a net zero economy and the increased use of remote working are just two of the trends that present huge opportunities for people working in rural Scotland. While green jobs can offer great career prospects, remote working has enabled more people to set up businesses in remote areas or work from home.
However, supporting people into the right job for them can be challenging in rural areas because skills mismatches are exacerbated by challenges around connectivity, from poor broadband to infrequent or expensive local buses. This means that career choices can be closed down and choices narrowed, especially in the most remote areas.
Our report, Challenges and Opportunities for Rural Jobseekers in Scotland, looks at some of these barriers to work and how they can be overcome. Analysis of labour market statistics suggests that while unemployment is higher in Scotland’s large urban areas, small towns in remote areas also stick out as needing support. Transferable skills can help increase someone’s chances of finding work in Scotland’s remote small towns, but transport improvements could also make a big difference. Low-income jobseekers are less likely to own a car and see their job choices drastically restricted by infrequent bus services. Partnership work with employers and transport policymakers, such as demand-responsive transport and car share schemes, could increase options for jobseekers as well helping Scotland to meet its environmental targets.
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