SAIC programme set to support women back into work

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Following the success of the inaugural Women Returners Programme, the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has announced plans to deliver a second run of the coaching and career building initiative early next year.

The eight-week programme aims to support women to take the first steps towards getting back into the workplace – a journey that can often seem daunting and challenging – with a particular focus on the range of exciting career options that aquaculture offers. And it isn’t just for those who have worked in the sector before. As part of the coaching, there will be sessions offering a comprehensive overview of the sector and the different career pathways in areas such as shellfish and seaweed farming, as well as salmon and the wider aquaculture supply chain.

Up to 40 free places are on offer with the course focusing on confidence building and personal branding with additional one-to-one support available to meet any specific needs.

Anyone interested in joining the programme must:

• Be based in Scotland

• Identify as a woman

• Be 25 years old or over

• Have been unemployed for 6 months or more

• Have been in employment before

The programme builds on SAIC’s ongoing commitment to the Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA)

Launched by SAIC on International Women’s Day 2019, WiSA aims to promote diversity within aquaculture through supporting career development and encouraging new talent into the burgeoning sector.

Speaking about the re-launchof the programme, Mary Fraser, SAIC’s head of skills and talent, said: “The aquaculture sector is thriving, and offers such a wide range of career opportunities in some of Scotland’s most stunning and remote locations. Technology, data and innovation are playing a big role in the sustainable growth of the sector, and the types of careers on offer have evolved in line with that – there is so much more to it than working out in the harsh natural environment of a fish farming site. “The returners programme represents a fantastic opportunity for women looking to get back into work after a career break, which they may have taken for a number of reasons. We’re aiming to help them to build the skills and confidence needed to take those important, but sometimes scary, next steps to get back into the world of work. “Aquaculture is a forward-thinking, positive community and the growth of groups like WiSA is particularly valuable in helping to build a diverse, talented workforce. By joining the returners programme, you’ll have the opportunity to not only benefit from high-quality coaching and training provided by our delivery partner Skillfluence, but also join a new network of likeminded individuals that can help open the door to further opportunities, professional relationships, and even friendships.”

The Women Returners Programme is funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Skills
Development Scotland. For more information and to book your place on the programme, visit