Aquaculture involves the production of fin fish and shellfish like tuna, halibut, mussels and scallops. Scotland has a thriving aquaculture industry, with many facilities located on the west coast. The sector is growing at a steady rate and there’s a need for people with specialist knowledge. Learn how to survive at sea and develop skills that could help you work on a ship.  

The apprenticeship will teach you different skills, such as the safe handling of different species of fish and how to manage seafood in an ethical way.  

What's the qualification?

You’ll gain a qualification in Aquaculture at either SCQF level 5 or 7. For both qualifications, you’ll study the following:  

  • Aquaculture: Fin Fish at SCQF level 5 
  • Aquaculture: Shellfish at SCQF level 5 
  • Aquaculture: Fin Fish at SCQF level 7 
  • Aquaculture: Shellfish at SCQF level 7 

Both apprenticeships include work experience.

SCQF qualification levels explained

What will I learn?

As part of your work, you’ll learn about:   

  • Sea survival techniques  
  • First aid training on a boat  
  • Food hygiene  
  • Fish health 
  • Fish farming  
  • Fin fish containment   

You’ll also develop the following core skills:   

  • Communication  
  • Working with others 
  • Problem-solving  
  • Time management   

These transferable skills can be used for different rolessuch as farming and ship work.

Where could it take me?

This Modern Apprenticeship provides different options. Choose to continue your studies with a relevant aquaculture degree or go into full time work.    

Further education: Further your studies by working towards a BA or masters in aquaculture. Your experience will support your university application.  

Straight to work: Use your qualifications to help you get a job in the industry. You’ll be qualified to work in different locations and be able travel on the ocean. Some of the jobs are featured below: 

  • Fin fish production  
  • Shellfish production 
  • Fish husbandry  
  • Farm work  
  • Marine operative   
  • Ship equipment operative 
  • Deckhand   

Entry requirements

There are no set requirements for this apprenticeship.  


This Modern Apprenticeship will take between 12-24 months to complete.  

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