Publication - Publication

Scotland's Forestry Strategy 2019-2029: equality impact assessment (EQIA)

Published: 5 Feb 2019

How Scotland's Forestry Strategy 2019-2029 may impact on equality, including socio-economic disadvantage. This report includes Fairer Scotland Duty.

12 page PDF

308.2 kB

12 page PDF

308.2 kB

Scotland's Forestry Strategy 2019-2029: equality impact assessment (EQIA)
Section 2: Collecting information

12 page PDF

308.2 kB

Section 2: Collecting information

What evidence is available about the needs of relevant groups? Please consider demographic data, including census information, research, consultation and survey reports, feedback and complaints, case law, others knowledge and experience.


Source of Evidence

Demographic information on the population of Scotland:

General population

Median age:42 years female, 40 male
Long term health problem or disability: 20%
Married or in a Civil Partnership: 45.4%
Race: BME 4%
Sex: 51.5% Female, 48.5% Male

Working age population

Median age: 45-49
Long term health problem or disability: 15%
Married or in a Civil Partnership: 37%
Race: BME 5.8%
Sex: 49.6% Female, 50.4% Male

Census Scotland 2011 Results

Information on the workforce profile of Forest Enterprise Scotland & Forestry Commission Scotland:

  • Total Staff numbers- 1069
  • Age -30.1% of employees are aged 39 and under, 69.9 % are aged 40 and over
  • Disability -3% have one or more disabilities, 90% are not disabled, 7% have not disclosed
  • Race - <1% are of BAME ethnicity, 90.1% are White, 1.2% prefer not to say.
  • Sex - 33% are female, 67% are male.

Internal HR/MI reports as at 31st December 2018.

Wider forestry sector workforce profile:

Scotland forestry workforce profile:

  • Total number FTE employed in forestry in Scotland - >25,000 FTE: 19,555 in forestry and timber processing, and 6,312 in forest recreation and tourism
  • Age: One study found that the majority of forest, timber and timber plant operatives, as well as timber and timber processing machine engineers were 35 years or over (although it was based on a small sample size).
  • Skills and training: Numbers of higher education students within Scottish FE-HE institutions are increasing but in forestry and timber technologies (FTT) related subjects they are falling. The numbers of students enrolling into FTT courses has decreased markedly since the 1970s and 1980s (200-500 students) compared with current numbers fluctuating between 100-150.

UK forestry workforce profile:

One 2011 study reported the following:

  • Gender: Male 93%, female 7%
  • Age: 43% are aged 34 and under, 57% are aged 35 and over
  • Ethnicity: White 98%, Non-white 2%

It is not clear how statistically robust this data is.

  • Age: For forestry and its sub-sectors, 57% are aged 34 or under, 43% are aged 35 or over.

Forestry Commission 2015 Report

The Scottish Trees and Timber Sector Labour Supply and Future Demand (2017)

Scottish Forest and Timber Technologies sector: Skills and training scoping study 2015

Lantra (2011) Trees and Timber Factsheet

Confederation of Timber Industries 2016 report

From your research above have you identified any gaps in evidence? If so what are the gaps?

FES & FCS does not currently collate or analyse information on some of the protected characteristics of its employees. These include gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity, religion/belief or sexual orientation. Some information is collated anonymously via the biennial staff survey as indicated above. As such we are unable to ascertain any impacts on staff due to these protected characteristics.

There is a lack of detailed or robust demographic data available on the forestry sector in Scotland and we therefore know very little about the profile of the workforce in terms of protected characteristics. As such we are only able to assess any impacts on the workforce in relation to gender, ethnicity and age, and even here, only on a tenuous basis.

As appropriate please describe the consultation/engagement undertaken including details of the groups involved and the methods used.

This EQIA has been based on an assessment of evidence and the experience and expertise of the FCS/FES Equality & Diversity Manager and the Forestry Strategy Team.

Are there any other groups to be consulted?

Extensive consultation to develop the strategy has taken place.

During the development of the draft strategy for consultation, a number of structured discussions took place with a range of stakeholders and a stakeholder Reference Group was formed to feed into the development of the Strategy, increase the effectiveness of the formal consultation process by supplementing and facilitating wider consultation and liaison activity associated with the strategy, and provide views on the developing themes, and insight into the reactions of others.

In parallel with the statutory consultation process (outlined below), on Scottish Government's behalf, Young Scot hosted an online survey on their Young Scot Rewards platform to help better understand young people's awareness of, and perspectives on forestry, as well as its benefits. 189 respondents from across Scotland took part in the survey, with ages ranging from 11 to 25.

A 10 week public consultation on the draft strategy was held between 20th September 2018 and 29th November 2018, to allow stakeholders to provide their views and feedback on a draft strategy and draft impacts assessments. In order to elicit views specifically on the potential impact of the draft strategy on equality, we included a specific question relating to the associated draft/partial EQIA:

Q10. Would you add or change anything in the Equality Impact Assessment (which includes our assessment of the potential impact of the strategy on inequalities caused by socioeconomic disadvantage - Fairer Scotland Duty)?

Around 350 stakeholders were notified of the consultation via email, there was also a Ministerial announcement and press release, and the consultation was promoted online via Twitter etc. During the consultation period, officials arranged or participated in 18 meetings, workshops and events across Scotland, engaging with over 250 people, representing more than 120 organisations.

There were 442 responses to the consultation, 77% of which were from individuals and the remaining 23% of which were from organisations. Almost half of these responses were identical as part of a campaign response on a specific issue.

66 (15%) respondents answered the question on the EQIA (excluding responses to the effect of "no comment").26 respondents, or 39% of those that gave a relevant response to the question, stated that they were content with the partial EQIA as it stood, or that they felt that it did not require any changes or additions. The remaining responses expressed mixed views on the EQIA and a wide range of requests for change.


Email: Bob Frost