There may be trouble ahead… – Fishfarmer Magazine

There may be trouble ahead…05 February, 2014 –

A RECENT study has predicted that the UK aquaculture industry is facing a shortfall in skilled employees.

The research was undertaken by Lantra as part of an ongoing research programme that accumulates employment statistics. Lantra found that in the near future Scotland’s land-based and aquaculture industries will struggle to find employees with the required advanced technical and commercial skills.

Whilst the research found currently low levels of vacancies, it is forecast that as many as 30,000 more people could be required by 2020, with up to 13,000 vacancies expected for skilled trade occupations and 3,000 for managerial/commercial roles based on the specific technical skills in demand.

The skilled occupations identified include: ICT, robotics, automation, animal handling/care, disease identification and control and machine handling, whilst the most sought after commercial skills include succession planning, entrepreneurial skills, business planning, business and supply chain management, risk management and new agronomy and production methods.

William Fergusson, the National Director for Lantra in Scotland, said: ‘Across the land-based, aquaculture and environment industries in Scotland the demand for technical and commercial skills has risen sharply over last 5-10 years.

‘For example, we are seeing demand for more advanced technical skills in animal handling, disease identification, control and bio-security as standards in animal health and welfare increase.

‘The growing need for food security and continuity of supply requires new agronomy and intensive farming methods requiring advanced technical skills in the operation of machinery, automation systems, robotics and ICT technology to boost productivity.

‘Higher standards in food quality, traceability and quality assurance are also demanding greater commercial knowledge from supply chain management to sales and marketing and risk management.’