THE first two graduates from a salmon farm management scheme have both started new jobs at Marine Harvest.
The young managers, Kendall Hunter, 23, and Benjamin Weis, 27, completed a fast track programme at the company, involving 75 weeks of intensive training, the Press and Journal reported yesterday. They will take up positions as farm managers near Kyle of Lochalsh and on Lewis.
They studied every aspect of the salmon farming business, from fish health to finance, in a course that took them to farms across the Highlands and islands, following the fish from hatchery to sea farm.
The two new managers also took part in managerial courses, including the Junior Executive Leadership Programme organised by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, and obtained qualifications in first aid, VHF radio, crane and telehandler tickets, boat courses and sea survival.
‘It is a fantastic opportunity to learn all aspects of the business at as many sites as possible,’ said Hunter.
‘Every day is different, from completing the daily routines out on site to learning how pens and mooring grids are made to attending weekly health meetings.’
She joined Marine Harvest after a degree in marine science at the Scottish Association of Marine Science, near Oban.
During her course she spent time in the Arctic, at the University Centre in Svalbard, Spitsbergen – the world’s northernmost institution for higher education and research.
Weis, meanwhile, is a University of Hohenheim graduate, and completed a masters degree in sustainable aquaculture at the University of Stirling.
As part of his studies he spent time in China, gaining experience working in tropical waters with giant grouper and sea cucumber.
Gideon Pringle, Marine Harvest’s operations director, told the Press and Journal: ‘Today’s modern salmon farms use technology never dreamed of 40 years ago, which means we now need different management skills.
‘While we have a dedicated experienced team of managers with 30 plus years in the industry, we also need to encourage highly educated young people to join our workforce.
‘The salmon farming industry can provide a very fulfilling career and a life in one of the most beautiful locations in the UK.’
Picture: Kendal Hunter