UHI West Highland and 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 in partnership with UHI West Highland aimed at supporting innovation and the future sustainability of the seafood sector in Scotland.

Working in partnership, the two colleges will develop courses over the next two years which will be aimed at those working in or entering the aquaculture sector as well as senior phase pupils in secondary school.


UHI Shetland and UHI West Highland already deliver a range of courses in aquaculture, maritime studies and marine operations.


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. 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.”


Sue Macfarlane, Interim Principal, UHI West Highland, said: “Aquaculture and the blue economy is a key economic growth area for our communities and will be a priority for UHI West Highland, UHI North Highland and UHI Outer Hebrides when we merge to form UHI North, West and Hebrides later this year. Together with our partners, UHI Shetland, we are well are well placed to develop new learning opportunities which respond to the training and skills needs in the Scottish seafood sector, whether it be senior phase programmes, entry level courses and apprenticeships, or short courses for businesses, degree level study or research. Through our expertise in blended learning, we will also be able to widen access to reach potential students online no matter where they live. We are delighted to be working with UHI Shetland and our industry partners to develop the talent pipeline, promote careers and support the future sustainability of this key economic sector.”


For more information about the UK Seafood Fund : UK Seafood Fund - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

For any further information contact:

Email: cheryl.macrae.whc@uhi.ac.uk   - UHI West Highland  |  01397 874000  |   07774799556

gemma.macgregor@uhi.ac.uk – UHI Shetland | 01595 771321 |  07385 029906