SCOTLAND, UK - Scottish salmon farming has reported a further climb in Modern Apprenticeship numbers last year, taking the official number to 91.
This news comes as Scotland celebrates Scottish Apprenticeship Week, an opportunity to highlight the benefits apprenticeships bring to businesses, individuals and the Scottish economy.
Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation said: “Modern Apprenticeships safeguard business sustainability and offer a lifeline to many remote communities.
"The vast majority of these positions are based in remote areas of the Highlands and Islands, where it can be challenging to find long-term employment and well-paid careers.
“2014 was another successful year for Scotland’s number one food export. Not only was Scottish salmon named ‘best farmed salmon in the world’ by an independent survey of international retail buyers for a second time, it was also crowned the UK’s biggest food export for the first time ever.
“These accolades signify how important the industry is to Scotland’s economy and therefore it is essential that we look after our business to ensure it has every opportunity to realise its full potential in years to come.
"Investing in skills and training is a key way to do this. We have to make sure we have the right people in place with the necessary skills.
"Training is not restricted to school leavers, with experienced staff taking up opportunities as a path to further study and potential career advancement.
Stuart Simon, a Senior Marine Operatives at Sgian Dubh site near Toward, Dunoon, was able to stay in his community through pursuing a career in aquaculture.
He said: “The Modern Apprenticeship has without doubt opened doors for me. I have grown more confident and have developed a greater understanding of the aquaculture industry and in particular the way the Scottish Salmon Company operates.
"I have been able to put into practice the things I have learned. It’s a massive benefit to understand not just what we do but why we do it.
30 year old Hayley Eccles, a Modern Apprentice with Scottish Sea Farms, said: “Joining the industry with no prior knowledge has not been without its challenges, but I’ve always felt that I had the full support of my colleagues and tutor.
“It’s been particularly fascinating to learn how the environment can impact on the development of fish, and to understand how small alterations to the hatchery environment can make a significant difference to salmon growth.”
The Scottish salmon farming industry employs almost 2500 people in Scotland. Many more local business, suppliers and service providers benefit from ongoing capital investment and industry spend on service provision.
TheFishSite News Desk