Skills for Work - Aquaculture


The Skills forWork (Vocational Pathways) programme offers young people in Shetland the opportunity to undertake college-based vocational training during their 3rd and 4th years at school.

Skills for Work Aquaculture provides basic knowledge of finfish and shellfish aquaculture and associated industries along with a range of relevant practical skills. The course runs over 2 years (S3 & S4) and includes classwork, hands-on experience and field trips. It will be of interest to anyone with an interest in aquaculture, fisheries or marine biology.

When you complete the you will be awarded a National Progression Award which is SQA accredited at SCQF Level 4.

Hands holding a fish


"This course has been really useful with school science subjects as there is cross over between biology and chemistry."


"This course has helped build my confidence around meeting new people."

Course Information content

Course Information

Course Information

In Skills for Work Aquaculture you will learn about a variety of topics relevant to fish and shellfish farming, including:

Northern European Aquaculture

  • We will introduce you to the many different aquaculture species and methods in northern Europe and the wider world.

The Aquatic Environment

  • Shetland is surrounded by a fantastic marine environment and has many different and interesting freshwater lochs. We will investigate the plant and animal life within these local marine and freshwater ecosystems as well as studying their physical chacteristics (such as water quality). This is a great introduction to aquatic biology.

Introduction to Finfish Production

  • This unit focuses on how fish are grown in aquaculture. We will introduce topics such as fish husbandry, feeding and nutrition, and health and welfare, as well as health and safety. You will learn practical skills and we will go on site visits where you will see fish production at first hand. Although the focus is on salmon farming you will also learn about the production of other species, including trout, halibut and cod.

Introduction to Shellfish Production

  • This units focuses on the production of shellfish in aquaculure, especially mussels and oysters. You will learn about the hatchery production of shellfish as well as on-growing, harvesting  and processing.

Basic Seamanship

  • You will learn how to handle a boat during practical training on the college's rigid inflatable boat, and will complete the RYA Powerboat Level 2 course. This provides an excellent introduction to boat handling and maritime rules.

Scottish Sea Fisheries

  • You will learn about the fishing industry, which is a major part of Shetland's history and economy. We will also introduce you to practical skills such as ropework and net-mending.
Skills for Work Overview content

Skills for Work Overview

Skills for Work Overview

Skills for Work courses help you to become familiar with the world of work and provide knowledge and a variety of practical experiences linked to particular careers. They will also help you to develop general knowledge and skills that are important for employment and for life in general, including:

  • an understanding of the workplace, including your own responsibilities such as timekeeping, appearance and customer care;
  • evaluating your own progress, strengths and weaknesses;
  • analysing and solving problems; and
  • adaptability and a positive attitude.
Practical Information content

Practical Information

Practical Information

Skills for Work Aquaculture is delivered at the NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway.

You will receive a free bus pass to travel to and from Scalloway but you will be responsible for making your own way to and from the college.

How to Apply content

How to Apply

How to Apply

Your school will provide information on how to apply for a Skills for Work course.

You will be asked to attend an (online) interview as part of the application process.

The number of places on each course is limited and you may not get a place on the course of your choice if there are more applications than there are places available.

Further Information content

Further Information

Please contact us if you need further information about this Skills for Work course, or would like to speak to someone about it.