UHI Shetland to benefit from UK Seafood Fund

UHI Shetland has received £186,000 from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to develop new courses aimed at supporting innovation and the future sustainability of the seafood sector in Scotland.

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Working in partnership with UHI West Highland, the courses will be developed over the next two years and will be aimed at those working in or entering the aquaculture sector as well as senior phase pupils in secondary school.

UHI Shetland already offer courses in a wide variety of aquaculture and maritime-based training, both regionally and internationally.  

The funding has been awarded through Defra’s UK Seafood Fund Skills and Training programme. The new courses will be focussed on introducing young people to the seafood sector and seafood careers, helping young people transition into apprenticeships and careers in the seafood sector and improving knowledge of sustainability within the aquaculture and fishing sectors.

The courses will showcase the seafood sector as an exciting place to develop STEM-based careers, through innovative blended and online delivery using the latest digital technology.

The project will also involve working closely with the fishing and aquaculture industry across the Highlands and Islands to ensure that training fits with industry needs and provides meaningful and engaging experiences for learners. Partnership working with the University of Lincoln will also offer opportunities to introduce our students to other aspects of the sector such as seafood processing.

UHI Shetland’s Centre for Sustainable Seafood will also play a key role in bringing the latest science, policy and best practice in sustainability to workers and entrants in the aquaculture sector.

Jane Lewis, Principal and Chief Executive of UHI Shetland, said: “We are thrilled to have been successful with our bid to the UK Seafood Fund, which was prepared in close collaboration with our partners in the seafood sector. This project will be run through our new Centre for Sustainable Seafood and will act as a catalyst to help provide a sustainable workforce for a sustainable seafood sector. We are delighted that we can use this funding to continue to support the seafood sector, which is such a vital part of Shetland’s economy.”