Just as attracting new generations into aquaculture is important, so too is developing those already working within the sector.

One such initiative is the new, sector-specific training course, ‘Managing and Leading the Team’, developed by SAIC in partnership with leading finfish producers and delivered by appointed training provider Fife College.

Over two days, groups of up to 12 first-time managers – whether from the one company or a mix of companies – are taken through six key themes: from being an authentic leader and communicating effectively, to communication, to coaching and managing performance.

Theme by theme, participants are shown proven techniques and approaches that they can take away and apply to the workplace, helping equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary to be effective team leaders.

Interested in finding out more?
Read how the course helped previous participants below.

Alternatively, to book your team on the course, contact

Managing and Leading the Team course

Manager: David MacMillan, Scottish Sea Farms
Training programme: Managing and Leading the Team

I’ve been with Scottish Sea Farms for over 15 years.
I started as a farm hand then worked my way up to supervisor before being promoted to my first management role – Marine Manager – in 2015. The job involves growing the salmon, taking them all the way to harvest and getting them to the desired size for the customer. It also involves managing a team of five, looking after areas such as health and safety.

I heard about the ‘Managing and Leading the Team’ course via our HR team.
At that point, it was a pilot scheme but it had been created just for first-time managers. Each participant was sent a list of questions in advance to build up a profile that indicates what type of character you are and what your natural leadership style is.

What I liked most about the course was that different business functions were involved.
It wasn’t just for Marine Managers. There were managers from sales, processing and training too, which meant there were different opinions and viewpoints to consider and learn from.

The trainer went at a good pace.
Everyone was able to get involved as it was quite general, as opposed to being too specific to particular roles. If there was something we weren’t too sure about or familiar with then we’d go back over it.

I came away from the course with new techniques to try in the workplace.
There were techniques on how to talk to people and find out what their needs are in order to better manage them. For example, are their needs still the same as when you first became their line manager or do they want to develop certain new skills? I learned to listen to staff and what their needs and wants are.

The course has definitely given me more confidence as a manager.
I’d highly recommend it to anyone else new or relatively new to a management role. You can meet other people from across the business, learn about the different jobs and experiences and take away techniques that can be applied to your role.

Noelia Rodriguez, Scottish Sea Farms

Manager: Noelia Rodriguez, Scottish Sea Farms
Training programme: Managing and Leading the Team

I was a Fish Health Biologist when I first heard about the course.
I asked my manager at Scottish Sea Farms if I could go on the course as it sounded relevant to me, with advice for staff on how to handle potentially challenging situations at work.

The trainer was really good at engaging with all participants.
Obviously, when you do a course with other people, everyone’s skills and skillsets are different. However, the trainer worked hard to give examples that we could all relate to in terms of our specific jobs and the sorts of situations that you might find yourself in.

The follow-up session was an added bonus.
A few weeks after the main course there was a short follow-up session to go over any questions or gaps in knowledge. We looked at presentation skills; skills that I was able to put into practice straight away.

I’ve since changed roles and the skills taught are coming in equally handy.
I’ve been in my new role of Freshwater Fish Health and Welfare Manager for about two months now, overseeing fish health-related matters for all of our freshwater sites and checking that the fish are in good health before they are sent out to our seawater site.

At first, I was very conscious of what I was doing and had to think about how exactly to apply some of the skills I’d learnt on the course. However, with practice it becomes more and more natural.

I would definitely recommend the course.
It could show you a method or technique that is something completely new. Equally, it helps you become more conscious of good techniques you already use.