SSPO seeks new team with political skills

SSPO chief executive Julie Hesketh-Laird

THE Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation is looking to strengthen its team with up to three new appointments, all based in Edinburgh.
Although the SSPO is currently headquartered in Perth, it said it is actively searching for premises in the capital for its future HQ.
The organisation, which represents six out of Scotland’s seven salmon farming companies, has advertised for a director of Strategic Engagement to ‘develop and grow relationships’ with the government.
Answering to CEO Julie Hesketh-Laird, who took up her post in March, the new director will ‘lead an industry engagement strategy to advance the industry’s interests and profile’.
They will be expected to communicate with industry and ‘external audiences’ to promote Scottish salmon, and this will include developing relationships with regulators, partner organisations, opinion formers and the media, as well as politicians, to make ‘a measurable impact on the industry’s reputation in Scotland and beyond’.
The SSPO is seeking someone with experience in communications who will be ‘credible and comfortable’ talking to ministers in Holyrood and Westminster.
The director of Strategic Engagement, who will be able to recruit an engagement manager as part of their staff, will also be an effective spokesperson in support of the CEO.
The role will require regular travel to SSPO member company facilities, often in remote parts of Scotland, as well as to other parts of Scotland and the UK (particularly London) and sometimes overseas.
The SSPO has also advertised for a sustainability director as part of its senior leadership team. The successful candidate will lead a small group tasked with ‘driving industry best practice, primarily regarding continued excellence in fish farming, fish health and other production practices throughout the supply chain’.
The sustainability director will also ‘develop and coordinate an industry sustainability strategy that aims to ensure an operating environment which is conducive to industry growth and resilience’, according to the job description.
‘This will include playing a role in assessing and helping to minimise the impact of Brexit on the sector.’
The role also requires someone with excellent communications skills who is comfortable presenting to a range of audiences, and communicating and influencing senior stakeholders up to government ministerial level in Westminster and Holyrood.
Hesketh-Laird said: \’The organisation is bolstering its capacity and capability to support a growing Scottish salmon farming sector. I am delighted that our members have confidence in a strong future for the sector and its producer organisation. The new roles will be based in Edinburgh close to some of our most important stakeholders.\’
Picture: Julie Hesketh-Laird, CEO of the SSPO


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