Researchers at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) have been awarded almost £39k to develop new seafood skills training courses in partnership with Scottish Sea Farms.
The project will develop and pilot three types of courses with seafood technicians, veterinary professionals and SRUC students.
Technician training piloted with Scottish Sea Farms and continuing professional development (CPD) courses offered to vets will include topics such as higher-level data skills, fish health and gill health.
Undergraduate skills development will be offered to SRUC students – particularly those studying Rural Animal Health and Animal Science – through work placement activities.
The aim of the project is to improve the skills and knowledge of technicians and veterinary professionals currently working in, or interested in diversifying into, the seafood sector. It will also highlight career opportunities available to students.
It will maximise the use of SRUC’s virtual learning environment to ensure course materials are accessible to workers in remote coastal communities and will also improve links between aquaculture veterinary sector businesses in these areas.
Dr Mary Thomson, Vice Principal Skills and Lifelong Learning at SRUC, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to support the sector with upskilling which can improve business productivity. It will expand SRUC’s existing CPD provision, and learners will benefit from improved understanding of the sector and career pathways available.”
Ronnie Soutar, Head of Veterinary Services at Scottish Sea Farms, said: “The health of our fish, and the development of the people who care for them, are central to everything we do at Scottish Sea Farms, and this new collaboration with SRUC will support both – namely, by providing current and emerging generations with opportunities to gain practical experience and, in turn, grow their skills and understanding of the sector.”
The money was awarded from the £100 million UK Seafood Fund which aims to support the long-term future and sustainability of the UK fisheries and seafood sector.