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Collated articles relevant to Aqua-tnet, the EU Erasmus Lifelong Learning Thematic Network for Aquaculture, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management (www.aquatnet.com)
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Apprentice leads new wave of young blood into burgeoning aquaculture sector | Scotland: National Rural Network

Apprentice leads new wave of young blood into burgeoning aquaculture sector | Scotland: National Rural Network | Aqua-tnet | Scoop.it
News from Lantra Scotland
Simon MacLellan, the talented 24-year-old aquaculture trainee working for Marine Harvest in Lochaber and winner of the Lantra Scotland Aquaculture Learner of the Year Award 2013, is leading a new wave of Modern Apprentices into an expanding fisheries and aquaculture management sector.

With new Government targets for marine production set to increase to 210,000 tonnes and shellfish to 13,000 tonnes by 2020, there are significant and growing career opportunities for school leavers and college graduates looking for a challenging and highly skilled occupation.

The aquaculture industry is currently worth at least £800m per year across the UK, with over 560 aquaculture businesses employing nearly 6000 people. According to Lantra Scotland, the sector skills council for the land-based, environmental and aquaculture industries, about 50 percent of these are based in Scotland, with Scottish businesses employing about a third of the entire UK workforce.

The introduction of new talent into the sector has been spearheaded by the success of the Scottish Government’s Modern Apprenticeship programme, which provides a very successful route into work for young people and access to new talent for employers. The programme offers a unique mix of college-based learning and practical, on-the-job training, which gives young people all the theoretical and practical skill sets that they need to succeed in their chosen careers.

Aquaculture trainee Simon MacLellan is cutting his teeth at the sharp end of fisheries management, working with one of Scotland’s leading producers, Marine Harvest. He is employed in the salmon hatchery side of the business, whilst undertaking the theoretical part of his Modern Apprenticeship Level 3 at Inverness College. Simon said, "I chose aquaculture because I can see this is an industry that is only going to grow. Thankfully, as a society, we have come to realise that commercial fishing is unsustainable, and with only 2% of the world’s oceans farmed, this represents a big opportunity for us all. It is very satisfying to be part of an industry that is geared towards sustainable fish production and I believe being part of the Modern Apprenticeship programme has given me the ideal start to my career.”

Lynn MacFarlane, Training and Human Resources Officer at Marine Harvest, said, “As a company we are keen to support our staff with their learning, and we have found that doing the SVQ alongside working on the farm is an effective combination for gaining knowledge and learning skills.  Simon’s success as the Aquaculture Learner of the Year 2013 is a great inspiration for all our SVQ students. We have another employee, Jake Handley, who won Student of the Year for SVQ Aquaculture at Inverness College UHI earlier this year. So we are extremely pleased with how well staff are doing.”

Kevin Patrick, Interim Director of Lantra Scotland said, “The aquaculture sector in Scotland has grown steadily over the last few years, and we have seen a rise in demand for skilled personnel. The Aquaculture Modern Apprenticeship programme is a very effective route into work for young people, while providing them with access to new talent for employers. The framework is unique in that it provides a mix of college-based learning with practical, on-the-job training. This provides all the necessary theoretical and practical skill sets that young people need to succeed in their chosen careers.

"We’re also grateful to Marine Harvest for helping sponsor our land-based and aquaculture learner of the year awards, and to our main sponsor, the Scottish Salmon Company.”
John Bostock's insight:

Congratulations and good luck to Simon in his studies and career and good to see Marine Harvest and other companies supporting the Aquaculture Modern Apprenticeship Programme.

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Winning the global race? Jobs, skills and the importance of vocational education | IPPR

Winning the global race? Jobs, skills and the importance of vocational education | IPPR | Aqua-tnet | Scoop.it
This briefing paper analyses the latest projections on the changing shape of the jobs market in the UK to presents a more complex picture of the skills needs of our economy.

In their desire to ‘win the global race’, policymakers have focused on increasing the number of graduates in the economy. However, winning the race will require more than simply expanding general higher education.

John Bostock's insight:

A timely report highlighting the need for greater focus and support for vocational education in the UK

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Cedefop | News | ESCO Taxonomy - Classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations just released

ESCO is the multilingual classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations. It identifies and categorises skills/competences, qualifications and occupations relevant for the EU labour market and education and training, in 25 European languages. The system provides occupational profiles showing the relationships between occupations, skills/competences and qualifications.

 

ESCO is the only European standard terminology linking skills and competences and qualifications to occupations and will be available free of charge to all labour market, education institutions and other stakeholders.

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Aqua-tnet has been contributing to this!

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Remember the young ones: Improving career opportunities for Britain’s young people | IPPR

Remember the young ones: Improving career opportunities for Britain’s young people | IPPR | Aqua-tnet | Scoop.it
This report looks at five critical elements of the school-to-work transition for young people – the role of employers, vocational education, apprenticeships, careers guidance, and the benefits system – and at lessons the UK can learn from European economies with better youth employment records.

A long period without work at a young age can have a long-lasting effect on a person’s life chances, leading to a higher future likelihood of unemployment and lower future earnings. For this reason, UK policymakers should be particularly worried about the present level of youth unemployment. There are currently 868,000 young people aged 16–24 unemployed in the UK, and 247,000 of them have been looking for work for over a year.

This is not simply due to the financial crash and recession. While the last six or seven years have been particularly tough for the latest generation of young people, even before the financial crisis many of those entering the labour market for the first time were struggling to compete with older workers for jobs. This suggests that even a full-blown economic recovery is unlikely to solve the problem of youth unemployment in the UK.

John Bostock's insight:

Another report from the UK Institute for Policy Research on vocational education and the need for strong engagement between employers and the education system. The UK needs to learn lessons from elsewhere in Europe!

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EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Member States urged to improve quality checks in universities and vocational colleges

EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Member States urged to improve quality checks in universities and vocational colleges | Aqua-tnet | Scoop.it

"Member States must shift from a box-ticking approach and upgrade their quality systems if they want to improve the performance of universities and vocational colleges, according to two reports published by the European Commission today on quality assurance in higher education and vocational training. The reports highlight that, although progress has been achieved, further reforms are needed to ensure a 'quality culture' so that teaching is more closely aligned with labour market realities and societal needs. They also call for more emphasis to be given to international cooperation and for students to have a greater say in decision-making.

 

“Quality assurance is the basis for building trust in our education systems and we need to make greater use of its potential as a catalyst to modernise our universities and vocational education colleges. Our aim is to drive up standards in a way that encourages diversity and employability rather than uniformity,” said Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.

The report on higher education sets out how quality assurance is helping to establish quality goals and address challenges such as the expanding student population in Europe, which has grown by more than 25% to 20 million since 2000. It underlines the importance of making the most of ICT-based technologies. Transparency is also vital: quality assurance results should be publicly available and feed into strategic decision-making.

 

The report on the European quality assurance reference framework for vocational education (EQAVET) shows that it has also helped develop a quality culture, through support such as an online tool to build and monitor quality assurance systems, and by encouraging the sharing of experience and best practice through the EQAVET network. But, here too, further action is needed to make quality assurance more transparent and increase mutual trust in qualifications awarded in different countries."

 
John Bostock's insight:

This deserves some attention...

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