Scottish school pupils to become aquacultured – Fishfarmer Magazine

Scottish school pupils to become aquacultured20 February, 2014 –

THE Scottish Salmon Company is supporting a new aquaculture course at Argyll College UHI.

Students on the National Progression Award (NPA) in Aquaculture at Campbeltown Grammar are to get an extra boost to lessons this week with help from experts from the Scottish Salmon Company (SSC).

The course, which is run by Argyll College UHI in association with the school, is the first in the region to run as part of the Curriculum for Excellence and Skills for Work programme.

This week the nine pupils were given the chance to attend presentations from the biology, production and HR departments at SSC, which brought to life the subjects they’ve been studying since they started in September 2013.

Biologist Camilla MacDonald, Tarbert South Site Manager Donnie Sinclair, South Production Manager Iain MacIntyre and HR Director Debra Nichol-Storie hosted the workshops from 10.30 to 14.00 on Tuesday 28 January.

This activity is to be followed up with a practical session on 4 March, when students are set to visit SSC’s sites at Stronachullin.

Darlene Russell, Curriculum Manager at Argyll College said: ‘We have been hoping to offer the NPA Aquaculture course in Argyll for several years. The course is very practical and demands great commitment from those students who embark upon it.

‘We are most grateful to our partners the Scottish Salmon Company for the invaluable practical support they are offering our students over the next year.

 ‘I hope this partnership will continue helping students in Argyll experience first-hand the many and diverse areas and opportunities offered within aquaculture for many years to come.’

HR Director at the Scottish Salmon Company, Debra Nichol-Storie, has been involved in developing the links with the college and school and organising input from SSC. She said:

‘I am pleased the Scottish Salmon Company has been able to work so closely with Argyll College UHI in the support of this course.

‘It’s really important to us that young people feel there are local, sustainable employment opportunities available and that they can find opportunities which will keep them close to home.

‘This qualification has been developed to offer a balance between studying the skills required by industry and real work experience, leaving candidates in a better position for a career in the sector.’

The NPA in Aquaculture provides opportunities for secondary school pupils to develop the necessary skills for a future career within the salmon farming industry, which accounts for Scotland’s biggest food export.

The course, which is set at SCQF levels 4 and 5, offers students a very vocational learning experience and has also incorporated visits to the Marine Environmental Research Laboratory in Machrihanish, as well as a local smokehouse.

On completion of the NPA Aquaculture students will be able to move into further study or potentially take up employment.