Following their Green Recovery Plan launch we asked RSPB about the investment in training and employment proposed by NNS

On Tuesday, 29 September the RSPB launched their Green Recovery Plan, CJS was invited to attend the (virtual) launch.

You can watch the launch event on youtube here

And read the report here (PDF) 

At the launch event, Amy asked panellist Matthew Argarwala, Environmental Economist at the Bennett Institute at the Uni of Cambridge if they are seeing an increase in commercial investment in the environment and green recovery bearing in mind that there is only a finite amount of money provided by government. He said quite rightly that for businesses to invest in something they have to see a return, whether that be in monetary terms or measurable environmental benefits and currently there just isn't enough measuring and reporting of outcomes from investment.

We asked

“Regarding point 2 – Invest in Nature.  It would be great to see a spend of £375m annually on a new national Nature Service employment and training scheme. How do you see this being delivered – the management of the countryside is carried out by cash strapped local authorities and national parks along with a large number of charities who all struggle to offer paid positions, even before the pandemic. I hope money will be targeted to those already on the ground rather than in creation of new organisations where money will be swallowed up with no real training or employment outcomes. How do you envisage the distribution of this money, will the jobs created be only short term contracts or are there targets for creating permanent posts within our sector?”

And the answer is...

The NNS funding (£425M per year in final estimate) would be targeted to organisations already working in this area, inc. eNGOs, LAs, National Park Authorities. Projects would be additional to their normal work and with full cost recovery. There would need to be a small central co-ordinating body, e.g. a unit in Natural England, but we are not looking to create any new organisations to deliver the projects.

There would be professional and transferable skills training and employment outcomes for participants. Trainees would have 12-month contracts while supervisors and experts could have contracts for the length of the service (3 years). In each case the skills and experience gained would help them obtain future paid employment in the nature or other sectors. There could be up to 70,000 on-going jobs in nature created over the coming years between the Government’s Tree strategy and Env & Ag Bill proposals, which participants could move into. Also, research shows that green investments are often more effective at job creation than conventional ones and that natural infrastructure is one of the top investments (University of Oxford).

Find out more about the proposal for a NNS at