Connie Fairbairn, Shannon Graham and Hilary Turnbull spent 18 months learning the farming business. During this time they have been hands on at hatchery, freshwater and seawater sites, and supported through a structured programme with personal development plans, combining practical tasks with academic study and management experience.
Having now completed the training programme, they have secured permanent positions. Fairbairn and Graham will take up trainee assistant manager positions in seawater and freshwater respectively, whilst Turnbull has secured a role as the company’s fish health manager in the Western Isles.
Speaking about the graduates, Donald Waring, Mowi’s learning and development manager, said: “I’m delighted to see Shannon, Connie and Hilary begin their career path here at Mowi. A big thank you to all the site managers who helped them learn their trade.”
The ability to gain an understanding of all areas of Mowi Scotland was extremely beneficial, as Fairbairn explained: “I have enjoyed my time on the graduate programme and am very happy to now be placed permanently. One of the many highlights of the programme is the ability to experience all aspects of the business. Despite Covid, the support from managers and staff during this time has been excellent and much appreciated. I hope to continue progressing towards a farm manager position and learn from all members of staff at Mowi.”
For Graham, the encouragement to participate in industry-wide initiatives increased her understanding of aquaculture: “We were encouraged throughout to expand our network and often given the chance to be involved with projects working alongside other industry professionals like SAIC, SSPO and Marine Scotland.
“Since joining Mowi in July 2019, I have spent time in both seawater and freshwater – where I am now in a permanent position as assistant manager at Lochailort Hatchery. The graduate programme provided me with the opportunity to gain experience across all aspects of the aquaculture industry from daily husbandry routines to production planning, smolt transfer, harvesting, health assessing, budgeting and forecasting.
The fact that the training carried on despite the challenges presented by lockdown, meant that the graduates felt supported and continued to progress, as Turnbull explained: “Despite the Covid pandemic, our training on site continued and, as things eased, we were able to go back to moving locations every three months. A highlight for me has been the sheer kindness and support I have received from every farm or site I have worked at. Each site took me in, showed me the ropes and made me feel valuable, even when I was relatively new and still learning. This welcoming atmosphere allowed me to get the most from every site and manager I worked with.”
Graduates interested in pursuing a career with Mowi Scotland are encouraged to check the website for available positions: https://mowiscotland.co.uk/careers/