The Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere welcomed two new recruits to its team this week, both recent graduates who will spend the next twelve months learning everything there is to know about southwest Scotland’s world-class UNESCO designation.
The Biosphere created two Project Support Officer posts to benefit young people who are at the very start of their careers. Within a wider objective of creating local jobs whenever possible to do so, the Biosphere’s aim is to provide an opportunity to explore potential career paths and build professional skills, with the backing and benefit of the experience and expertise among the Biosphere’s core team and Partnership Board.
The newest members of ‘Team GSAB’ are Jake McLaughlan and Malcolm Haddow, both of whom live near Dumfries. Jake brings with him a Degree in Management and a range of IT and research skills. Malcolm holds a BSc in Wildlife & Conservation Management, and is already a passionate communicator about the natural heritage of the region. Both Project Support Officer roles will be tailored to Jake and Malcolm’s interests as they align with the Biosphere’s programme of delivery, which covers community engagement, business development, land management and biodiversity.
Commenting on his new role, Jake says: “I’m excited to be working with the team and look forward to expanding my knowledge on all things Biosphere. I am particularly excited to make new connections and to make a difference where I can!”
Malcolm says: “I’m delighted to be given this opportunity to begin my career within my home region. I’m looking forward to networking among the Biosphere’s communities and stakeholders, whilst being enabled to explore our region’s awe-inspiring culture, landscapes and biodiversity.”
The Biosphere’s Director, Ed Forrest, says, “We had a marvellous response when recruiting for the Biosphere’s development roles and we are especially pleased to have found two local young people for these posts. It’s a real privilege for us to have Malcolm and Jake join our team for project support, and already clear that they will bring energy, curiosity, and a real drive to help our officers share everything that’s special about Galloway and Southern Ayrshire.”
Scotland’s first Biosphere was awarded its designation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 2012, in recognition of a unique natural and cultural heritage and local opportunities for sustainable development. It is part of a worldwide network of more than 700 UNESCO Biospheres and will celebrate its 10th anniversary later this year. Operating with the support of funding partners including three local authorities, South of Scotland Enterprise and Scottish Forestry, GSAB is a key national player in the drive to address climate change and achieve Net Zero goals.