School pupils in Lochgilphead, in the west of Scotland, have learned more about the huge range of local jobs in the salmon sector as part of an initiative from the industry’s organisation, Salmon Scotland.

A day-long event at Lochgilphead Joint Campus, in Argyll and Bute, offered pupils the opportunity to meet those working in aquaculture, find out more about farm-raised salmon, and discover the career options open to them. The visit was timed to coincide with the United Nations’ World Oceans Day 2022.

Salmon Scotland estimates that the industry directly supports 500 jobs in Argyll and Bute, with many more in the supply chain, generating tens of millions of pounds for the local economy.

The careers event in Lochgilphead included an introduction to farm-raised Scottish salmon, technology exhibitions, a powerboat tour, and the chance to try a variety of tasty and nutritious salmon dishes.

Salmon Scotland hopes that similar events will now be staged across rural Scotland.

The careers event was organised by Salmon Scotland, their member companies and the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce Argyll – part of the Scottish Government’s Youth Employment strategy to better prepare young people for the world of work.

Local employers also took part, including The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC), Mowi, Scottish Sea Farms (SSF), Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, MSD Animal Health Aquaculture and AKVA group.

The event used the hashtag #BeTheNewWave to share information highlighting the wide range of well-paid and highly skilled job opportunities in the sector, from technicians to farm assistants, from skippers to processors, and from fish husbandry to business support roles.

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said: “Our member companies are at the heart of Scotland’s coastal communities. In many places the salmon farm at the end of the road keeps the local community alive, the school open, and helps support many local businesses.

“There are a huge number of different roles in aquaculture and we need young people, especially females, to join us in looking after our world-leading salmon as we feed not only Scotland but the wider world.”

Ann Devine, principal of Lochgilphead Joint Campus, commented: “The aquaculture event signifies another development in the strong partnership established between Lochgilphead High School and the Scottish salmon farming sector.

“The pupils will come away from the day having learned, engaged and had fun – but for some it could be the first stage in choosing a future career and for that we are indebted to local salmon farmers and supply chain companies for their ongoing support.”

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