SAIC coaching programme aims to develop future leaders

The Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) is calling upon emerging leaders from across the sector to take part in its Leadership Development Programme.

Delivered in partnership with Skillfluence, the initiative aims to equip participants with the tools, skills and confidence to lead under pressure and build successful teams, as well as providing one-to-one coaching and mentoring throughout. Workshops will focus on motivating team members, public speaking, managing conflict successfully, and more.

The scheme is the only of its kind designed specifically for people working in aquaculture.

The programme has been designed to support a growing and diverse workforce, as well as addressing the need to boost managerial skills to prepare the next generation of leaders to step into senior positions. All areas of the sector, from finfish and shellfish to seaweed and the supply chain, will be included. Past participants have included aquaculture farm managers, logistics planners, environmental analysts, innovation officers and fish health specialists.

SAIC said that following the success of last year’s programme – the first after Covid – the agenda has been adapted to incorporate face-to-face sessions which participants found especially valuable. These have been scheduled in accordance with the seasonal peaks and troughs of seafood production cycles, meaning minimal disruption during otherwise busy times.

Up to 25 spaces are available for the Leadership Development Programme, and the two-day kick-off session takes place on 25 and 26 April at the Dunblane Hydro Hotel. Applications close on 7 April.

Nicola Forrester, assistant supply chain manager at Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, was a participant in a previous course. She said: “I now have more awareness of my leadership behaviours and how they influence others around me. The course helped me to step out of my comfort zone and learn to be a more effective leader, with tools to help motivate and empower our teams. Working in the aquaculture supply chain can be complex and fast-paced, so it is crucial to lead by example and create cultures and environments that boost morale.”

Sarah Riddle, director of engagement and innovation at SAIC, said: “People are the core of any business and by supporting future leaders we can help to build the workforce we need to nurture a successful, sustainable Scottish aquaculture sector.

“We want to support the young leaders in this programme specially designed to help people build confidence, and improve communication and other soft skills. It also offers participants the chance to get together with others at a similar career juncture and build professional networks of like-minded people.”

For more information, visit the SAIC website.

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