First for Cooke man in Shetland
JOHN McCulloch from Unst has become the first person in Britain to complete a ground-breaking professional development programme in aquaculture management, developed by the NAFC Marine Centre UHI.
McCulloch completed the Technical Apprenticeship in Aquaculture Management just over 18 months after it was launched, while working as assistant site manager at Cooke Aquaculture Shetland’s Quoys salmon hatchery in Unst.
The technical appren- ticeship enables senior fish farm staff to gain a degree level qualification in aquaculture management while working in the industry.
McCulloch said that he had found the apprenticeship programme educational and interesting, and praised the professionalism of the NAFC staff, who had supported him throughout the programme, as well as his employer.
‘I have no doubt it will allow me to continue in assisting Cooke Aquaculture in producing what I think is the best salmon on the market in what is such an important industry to the Scottish economy, maintaining and supporting rural communities such as Shetland.
‘I would recommend this apprenticeship to anyone who gets the chance to complete it.’
Course leader Stuart Fitzsimmons said that McCulloch’s completion of the apprenticeship marked an important milestone for the programme, which was developed by NAFC and launched in March 2017.
‘Following the successful introduction of our Modern Apprenticeships in Aquaculture for new and experienced fish farm staff, we had a lot of interest from aquaculture companies in a training programme for their managers,’ said Fitzsimmons.
‘The use of distance learning, supported by NAFC staff, means that people from anywhere in Scotland can undertake this training at times and places that suit them, without having to attend college classes.’
NAFC currently has 25 other senior aquaculture staff throughout Scotland enrolled in the Technical Apprenticeship in Aquaculture Management.
A further 48 students are enrolled in the Centre’s Modern Apprenticeship’s in Aquaculture at Levels 2 and 3.
Above: John McCulloch