Shetland trainers get glowing report

APPRENTICESHIP training at the NAFC Marine Centre in Shetland has been rated ‘very good’ and its staff highly praised in an audit by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

The audit focused in particular on the Aquaculture Apprenticeship Programme, and concluded that it had fully demonstrated meeting SDS’s standards at a high level with ‘major strengths’.

The programme has been developed to provide practical, on-the-job training and skills development for those working at all levels in the aquaculture industry.

It has been designed in collaboration with employers to provide a progression route and career development path, from first entry to senior management positions.

SDS praised NAFC’s ‘enthusiastic, dedicated and confident’ aquaculture training staff and especially the ‘inspirational leadership’ of Stuart Fitzsimmons (section leader for aquaculture training).

He was described as ‘experienced and knowledgeable and very open to innovations in the development and delivery of the programme in order to ensure that the courses offered meet community and employer needs’.

SDS also commended NAFC’s ‘very positive and productive relationships with employers’, with all employers commenting on the ‘quality and flexibility’ of the centre’s training and the expertise of its staff.

This had resulted in NAFC’s aquaculture apprenticeship programme becoming ‘the benchmark qualification for local employers in the industry’. NAFC’s strong relationship with the apprentices was also highlighted.

NAFC’s interim joint principal, Willie Shannon, congratulated the centre’s staff on receiving such a positive report from SDS.

‘This outstanding report from Skills Development Scotland confirms the high quality of the training delivered by the NAFC Marine Centre and the very positive relationship that it has with employers,’ he said.

‘As SDS has identified, that is due in very large part to the enthusiasm and hard work of our knowledgeable and experienced training staff, ably led by Stuart Fitzsimmons.’

Picture: NAFC’s aquaculture training team: (L-R) Mathew Wright, Stuart Ftitzsimmons (section leader), Saro Saravanan, Duncan Kidson (academic quality manager) and Laurence Pearson

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