A new online advice service has been launched to help Scots access the information, advice and skills “needed to thrive” in a net-zero economy.

The new Green Jobs Workforce Academy, delivered by Skills Development Scotland, will help people take a greener approach to their careers, from accessing training and learning new skills, to finding a new green job.

This comes as the first minister welcomed the news that energy company ScottishPower are creating 152 new green jobs, of which 135 will be in Scotland.

These positions will be listed on the academy’s website alongside information on the types of jobs emerging in sectors crucial to Scotland’s transition to a net-zero economy, such as renewable energy, construction and transport. 

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “As we recover from the pandemic we are determined to build a fairer economy that delivers the skills, opportunities and jobs for the future that will help secure our transition to net-zero and end our contribution to climate change.

“The launch of our Green Jobs Workforce Academy is an invaluable step in preparing our current and future workforce to seize the opportunities afforded to us as part of that just transition. The academy will guide people of all ages through a process of identifying the skills they have and the skills they will need to find and secure green jobs. 

“To help tackle climate change Scotland is already investing in green skills and attracting new green job opportunities. It is great to see ScottishPower creating 135 new green jobs in Scotland and I would encourage other employers to follow their lead. The academy’s career advisors stand ready to support individuals interested in these jobs access the right training to help their career progress.

“Looking ahead to Cop26 in Glasgow in November, Scotland can be proud that our climate change ambitions, backed by investment in creating a highly skilled green workforce, will be showcased on an international stage.”

Scotland is committed to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Net zero refers to balancing the amount of emitted greenhouse gases with the equivalent emissions that are either offset or sequestered.

Keith Anderson, chief executive of ScottishPower, said: “As we electrify the economy to meet our met zero decarbonisation goals our electricity grid will have to be ready for a doubling in demand for power. The green jobs we’re announcing today will be critical in delivering the upgrade to the grid and critical investment in the country’s electricity infrastructure. The jobs are also part of our work to drive the green recovery forward through job creation and investment and sector that help tackle the climate emergency.”

Frank Mitchell, chairman of Skills Development Scotland, said: “There are already opportunities across a number of Scotland’s key economic sectors offering great career prospects for people with the right skills. The Green Jobs Workforce Academy will make it easier for people from a broad range of backgrounds to consider how their skills and experience can be built upon to launch a green career. It’s part of a range of measures SDS and its partners is engaged in through the Climate Emergency Skills Action to help us meet the challenges we now face.”

Skills Development Scotland are also developing an employer-facing Green Jobs Data Hub that will provide leadership, influence and guidance to businesses, and help cascade information on the types of green jobs on the horizon.

The launch of the Green Jobs Workforce Academy meets another one of the Scottish Government’s 100 days committments.

What makes a job ‘green’?

A ‘green’ job produces goods or provides services that directly benefit the environment. It could also be a job that helps industries lower their carbon footprint.


The construction industry is developing new approaches to powering and heating existing buildings to improve energy efficiency within them, including:

  • IT
  • professional management roles
  • marketing
  • skilled trades

And according to the new academy, digital tools are increasingly being used by the construction industry to improve productivity, safety and environmental impact. These include:

  • project management software
  • digital surveying and mapping equipment
  • 3D modelling
  • health and safety compliance software
  • business management programmes


As Scotland shifts to an electrical, battery and hydrogen-powered way of life, skilled engineers will be key to increasing the country’s energy efficiency and reducing its carbon footprint.

The new advice service says engineering is at the forefront of the work Scotland is doing to lower its impact on the environment, and technological innovations will help:

  • reduce waste
  • improve the capture of emissions
  • lower energy loss in manufacturing


Demand will be expected for people to fill both professional and technical roles in the transport sector, including:

  • electrical engineering
  • power control
  • rail electrification
  • signalling
  • controlling systems


Cleaner energy practices, such as hydrogen power, will create opportunities for labourers and technical workers in production and distribution roles within the energy sector, including:

  • Solar panel fabrication
  • Marine turbine designer
  • Wind farm maintenance
  • Biomass process operative
  • Repair of gearing mechanisms
  • High voltage cable technician