Are you an animal lover? Outdoorsy? Practical? Perhaps a job in Marine or Freshwater would suit you.
Describe a normal day in your job
It is my responsibility to care for our fish when they are in the seawater loch, making sure they are fed properly and that they are healthy. It takes approximately three years to raise Scottish Salmon. They spend the early stages of their lives in freshwater until they become smolts (adolescents) when they are transferred to seawater. It is incredibly rewarding to watch our fish grow into adult salmon, which is exported all around the world.
What skills/qualifications are relevant to your role?
I completed a Modern Apprenticeship Level 2 in Aquaculture with Inverness College UHI while working at SSC’s marine site at Loch Striven. The skills I learnt from working on site helped me progress through the course and I gained many new skills, including boat handling, firefighting, sea survival, first aid and fish health identification.
I was very honoured to win three ALBAS in 2019: Aquaculture Learner of the Year, Modern Apprentice of the Year and Overall Learner of the Year. I wasn’t expecting to win and to find that I had won three awards was amazing.
What has been your career path to your current role and what experience do you have?
I had been working in the SSC processing factory at Cairndow as a Processing Operative for five years and was intrigued when I saw an advert for a Marine Operative role. I’d heard a little about marine jobs and when I went for the interview, I was interested to hear how varied the role would be. There are lots of training and development opportunities SSC which excites me as I’m keen to develop my skills wherever I can. I have now been working at SSC for 10 years and look forward to the future.
What is the best thing about your job?
My job is incredibly rewarding; it’s a real privilege to work with the team, at the heart of salmon production. I enjoy being part of an industry that is so important to Scotland’s economy and heritage. I enjoy driving boats and love the environment that I work in – some days are so beautiful and the scenery on site is stunning!
What interested you in a career in Aquaculture?
The salmon farming industry is relatively young compared to other farming sectors; there is extensive innovative research and development taking place into all aspects of salmon farming, which interests me.
Why would you encourage others to think about a career in Aquaculture?
It can be challenging at times, but it is an amazing career and industry, which is very rewarding. I enjoy looking after animals and producing a product that is so special to Scotland.
The freedom of being out on the water in magnificent surroundings is special - not many people have that luxury. Some mornings you are on the boat and a porpoise pops up next to you, or a bird dives into the water – it is stunning.