Study to iden­tify skill needs on farms

Fish Farmer - - News - Above:

A STUDY to iden­tify the skills needed to help the Scot­tish aqua­cul­ture sec­tor meet is growth tar­gets has been launched by High­lands and Is­lands En­ter­prise.

Com­pa­nies in aqua­cul­ture and re­lated ser­vices are be­ing in­vited to take part in the project, which emerged from the in­dus­try’s Vi­sion 2030 re­port, set­ting out plans to dou­ble out­put.

The study will in­volve con­sul­ta­tion and sur­vey work to ex­plore the scale and com­po­si­tion of the aqua­cul­ture work­force, the cur­rent and fu­ture skills re­quire­ments of the sec­tor and the skills pipe­line that feeds it.

Find­ings will in­form the de­vel­op­ment of an In­dus­try Work­force Plan­ning Strat­egy and Ac­tion Plan.

Ste­wart Gra­ham, man­ag­ing director of Gael Force and cochair of the Aqua­cul­ture In­dus­try Lead­er­ship Group which is over­see­ing the strat­egy for growth, said: ‘Feed­back from the fin­fish pro­duc­ers has con­sis­tently been that peo­ple and their skills are a Fer­gus Ewing sig­nif­i­cant po­ten­tial con­straint to our sec­tor’s growth plans.

‘This of course is closely tied to the avail­abil­ity and af­ford­abil­ity of ru­ral hous­ing, which is a high level chal­lenge for the gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor sup­ply.

‘Skills map­ping, how­ever, is some­thing the in­dus­try can and must take a lead on now to plan for the fu­ture, and I would plead with all pro­duc­ers and the wider sup­ply chain to fully en­gage with this map­ping ex­er­cise so that we can get ahead of the curve on our fu­ture skills needs.’

Ru­ral Econ­omy Sec­re­tary Fer­gus Ewing said: ‘This gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing Scot­land’s aqua­cul­ture sec­tor to con­tinue to grow in a sus­tain­able way.This map­ping work will help to en­sure that we have the right skills in the right places in the sec­tor and have a plan in place to ad­dress any gaps, and I would en­cour­age all with an in­ter­est to par­tic­i­pate.

‘Be­ing the work­place of choice and at­tract­ing a di­verse and multi skilled work­force will be es­sen­tial to main­tain­ing the mo­men­tum and am­bi­tion within the sec­tor.’

High­lands and Is­lands En­ter­prise has com­mis­sioned Ekos­gen and Imani De­vel­op­ment to un­der­take the study, and they will be con­tact­ing busi­nesses in the aqua­cul­ture sec­tor and its sup­ply chain over the next few weeks to in­vite them to take part in a con­sul­ta­tion or on­line sur­vey.

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