Meeting the next generation
Our policy adviser Marcelina Hamilton, who has recently qualified as a chartered surveyor, went back to University for the day to talk to students about what a future career in helping rural Scotland thrive, could look like.
A career in policy may not be the first route students who are undertaking a Masters in Land Economy go down. However, policy and the work of Scottish Land and Estates (SLE) form an essential part of the rural industry. I went up to Aberdeen University recently to talk to the new intake of students. I gave a short presentation on what work SLE undertake, what my career journey has been, and what my role involves at SLE. We then had a lively discussion about the rural industry and the part that policy plays.
The students were very interested to understand how SLE lobbies politicians and governments. We discussed various examples of policies that politicians write to solve problems that exist in urban areas resulting in unintended consequences in rural regions. Many of the students come from a rural background or have undertaken work experience, so they already have first-hand knowledge of the result of these consequences.
I also discussed with them the close links SLE have with their professional members. SLE colleagues sit on various forums, stakeholder and working groups with professional members. These partnerships allow us to work in tandem to represent rural businesses, and their concerns understood by those making decisions. Most of the class intend to join an agency and undertake their Assessment of Professional Competence with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, but regardless of where they end up, they will undoubtedly work with SLE in the future.
The rural sector plays a vital role in shaping modern Scotland’s socio-economic makeup. To help rural Scotland to be an innovator of positive change and progress, we must have vibrant, engaged and enthusiastic individuals working in the sector. The students I spoke to have just started their academic year, but I have no doubt they will all go on to make a valuable contribution to the industry.