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Pisces Learning Innovations Ltd.

Aquaculture for Schools

Project Outcomes...


  • The development of two new NPA qualifications in Aquaculture for schools which included work experience.


  • A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) populated with multi-media aquaculture learning resources.


  • A progression pathway to aquaculture employment  for school leavers, bridged by the NPAs in Aquaculture.








“The 'Aquaculture in Schools' project has worked very well for our company, providing keen young people an insight to commercial fish farming whilst still at school, ultimately helping their transition to work and aquaculture careers.”
Debra Storie-Nichol - Scottish Salmon Company Head of HR

The Request

The recruitment of young people to full time aquaculture education in Scotland had been falling for a decade or more. Much of this decline appeared to be due to the negative media coverage that had been plaguing the industry and a lack of awareness of the exciting career opportunities that aquaculture offered. The leading companies and industry representatives agreed that the imagination of 14 to 16 year olds had to be captured through better education, providing a well informed and a positive outlook for aquaculture globally, to revitalise young people’s interest in aquaculture careers.

Our Response

The Scottish Progression Award being delivered to secondary schools by the North Atlantic Fisheries College was reviewed. It was no longer ‘fit for purpose’, and it was agreed to replace it with two National Progression Awards (NPAs) in Aquaculture, designed for schools. We developed the NPA Award framework and Units in consultation with the North Atlantic Fisheries College, Shetland, and successfully completed the validation of the new NPAs in Aquaculture at levels 4 and 5 with the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Subsequently,  a successful bid to the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) was made and widely supported by the industry. The project raised funding to support the development of a blended learning delivery system. We managed the European funded development phase  leading to the creation of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) populated with interactive learning resources and programme delivery plans. Consequently a Scottish school can now link up with a local fish farm, and with the support of a college tutor and the Virtual Learning Environment, provide young people the opportunity to enrich their school curriculum with an NPA in Aquaculture . Thereafter on leaving school the keenest will be able to gain suitable employment on a local fish farm  more readily. In addition, they will be known by the farm manager and better prepared for a company induction and further work based training as a direct result of their school based Aquaculture NPA.