The ‘Nurturing Talent in Scottish Aquaculture’ event showcased the diverse initiatives in place to upskill the existing workforce that exist.
An event has been held at Dunblane Hydro to mark the ten-year anniversary of the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre’s (SAIC) skills programs.
SAIC has provided skill development to approximately 500 individuals in the aquaculture sector through its programs since 2014.
To commemorate the milestone, SAIC brought together industry leaders in skills development, a mix of early to mid-career professionals, and new entrants into the sector for an afternoon of networking and discussion at Dunblane Hydro.
These programs have distributed scholarships, PhD funding, and work placements to 200 academics, and enhanced the skills of an additional 294 professionals and researchers via mentoring, leadership courses, and digital training.
The event included presentations from Jillian Couto-Phoenix, head of skills at SAIC, and Alison Gray from Skillfluence, addressing the impact of skills on innovation and sustainability. It also featured a Q&A session and panel discussions with professionals who have benefited from the programs.
“Over the last ten years, SAIC has existed primarily to connect industry needs with academic expertise via a portfolio of research and development,” Couto-Phoenix said.
The event spotlighted the importance of mentoring, particularly the Women in Scottish Aquaculture network’s contribution to gender diversity in the sector.
“To facilitate the sharing and translation of this knowledge into new and improved practices, a connected pipeline of talented individuals is needed to turn these ideas into reality. Therefore, alongside our research and development, SAIC has been nurturing talent by creating cohorts of professionals from across organisations within the aquaculture sector with the purpose of innovating, leading and guiding careers.”
Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, concluded the event with a call for ongoing collaboration to advance the industry. SAIC remains dedicated to enhancing professional capabilities within aquaculture to support industry progression and innovation.