Scottish Countryside Alliance

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Meeting the Minister

Further to his encouraging words in relation to the Value of Shooting at the Highland Field Sports Fair, Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, took time to discuss the Scottish Countryside Alliance initiative Routes to Rural Employment with Countryside Alliance Director for Scotland Jamie Stewart. 


The Value of Shooting reveals that shooting supports the equivalent of 8,800 full-time jobs in the Scotland, influences the management of around 4.5 million hectares of land and at least 120,000 people in the country shoot live quarry, clay pigeons or targets. The figures are outlined in a new report – The Value of Shooting – conducted by Cambridge-based Public and Corporate Economic Consultants (PACEC).


Scotland’s rural economy and the full range of businesses enterprise therein, lies at the heart of a successful Scotland. One of the biggest success stories since 2007 has been our food and drink sector with a large increase in the value of sales of Scottish produce, and our determination to grow the sector to £12.5 billion by 2017.  We believe that over the coming years we will see as radical an economic and social change in Scotland as we have experienced since the 1950s - not decline, but revival and sustainable growth. Instead of cities as the place to work and rural Scotland the place for leisure, rural Scotland may increasingly emerge as the preferred location for work, we do however require an investment from our young people to achieve this.


The Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA) launched the Routes to Rural Employment (R2RE) initiative in June 2014 with the sole intention of helping Scotland’s young people identify work opportunities within and throughout rural Scotland, many of which are tied to land or wildlife resource management.  The SCA believe that by developing and improved links with training and business development programmes and through the further development and promoting of artisan trades and businesses we can ensure sustainable employment opportunities to retain young people within our rural communities and in-doing so, increase economic growth, increase the gross value added (money spent within the community/locality) and attracted new businesses and business support such as high speed broadband and improved transport links.


Routes to Rural Employment is a unique initiative providing vital links for young people to engage with The Countryside as well as gain access to Education, Business and Financial resources - A one-stop service in collaboration with our many Trusts and Business partners delivering Real education, Real information and Real Resources enabling our Children and Young Adults to make an informed and educated judgement about life in the Countryside based on their own experiences. 


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