Wednesday, March 2, 2016

02/03/2016: Shaping the future of salmon farming through Modern Apprenticeship

“Modern Apprenticeship programmes are shaping the next generation of talent.”

These are the words of Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation as Scotland’s salmon farmers celebrate the success of its Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) during Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Week.

At the close of 2015, salmon farmers reported 88 employees had successfully completed Modern Apprenticeships at levels two and three while a further 74 employees signed up to new MA programmes.

Mr Landsburgh continues: “Thriving businesses need a workforce to help them face the future with confidence.  Recruiting people on Modern Apprenticeships helps farmers fill skill gaps within the workforce, safeguarding business sustainability while arming the younger generation with the specialist knowledge they need to succeed.

“Living and working in remote areas of the Highlands and Islands can make finding long-term and well-paid careers challenging.  However, MAs offer employees formal education, transferable qualifications and career progression opportunities where they live and work and choose to raise their families. 

“These opportunities are open to school leavers and to existing staff with a number of experienced staff who have already completed this path to further study and potential career advancement." 
Hayley Eccles
Some of the employees already benefitting from MAs include 31-year-old Hayley Eccles from Strathcarron in the Highlands.  She has recently finished a Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 3 in Aquaculture at Scottish Sea Farms and Inverness College UHI. Hayley works as a Freshwater Technician at the Couldoran Hatchery in Kishorn. Her devotion to animal welfare is one of her key attributes, which is vital for someone working in a salmon hatchery.
Lisa Askham
Lisa Askham, aged 24 from Lochcarron, has completed a Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 2 in Aquaculture at Inverness College UHI.  She works as a Freshwater Operative at Russelburn Hatchery, Kishorn, owned by The Scottish Salmon Company. Lisa is a competent fast learner and understands the importance of fish health, fish husbandry, and the importance of a stable environment to maximise production and ensure the fish are stress free and healthy.
Martin Mladenov
29-year-old Martin Mladenov has completed his Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 3 in Aquaculture at Scottish Sea Farms (SSF) and NAFC Marine Centre, part of the University of Highlands and Islands. Martin is working at a Husbandryman for SSF, which involves feeding and monitoring salmon, observing behaviour, taking weekly samples and making sure they remain healthy. His ambition is to become site manager one day.

In recognition for their efforts, Hayley, Lisa and Martin have been nominated as finalists at the prestigious LANTRA Learner of the Year awards this year.   Selected from nominations across Scotland, the award recognises and rewards exceptional individuals within the environmental and land-based industries.  The winner will be announced at a prestigious ceremony later this week.
“From an industry perspective, MAs have been key to developing a committed and competent workforce, helping to increase productivity and improving business performance.  Investing in skills and training demonstrates we are looking after our businesses to ensure they have every opportunity to realise their full potential in years to come.  Scotland’s economy continues to benefit from a highly skilled workforce using the latest technological advancements,” says Mr Landsburgh.

Visit the SSPO site HERE.

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