First for Cooke man in Shet­land

Fish Farmer - - United Kingdom News -

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

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