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Choose our job... ‘Trainspotting’ video puts focus on aquaculture

Kyle Crossan has been surprised by the success of his video, which has attracted interest from Marine Scotland. Photo: SAIC
Kyle Crossan has been surprised by the success of his video, which has attracted interest from Marine Scotland. Photo: SAIC

A video that encourages young people to choose aquaculture as a career has been so well received that it is now at the centre of a social media campaign to raise awareness of the job opportunities in the sector.

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The Choose Aquaculture video was made by Stirling University marine biology undergraduate Kyle Crossan, 23, during a summer internship at the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) in Stirling.

Inspired by the iconic Scottish film Trainspotting and, like the movie, scored by the upbeat opening bars of Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life, Crossan’s simple but effective video matches a series of photos with a voiceover and captions about the many options people can choose in fish farming.

It is one of a growing number of SAIC online resources that can be accessed under the Twitter hashtag #ChooseAquaculture and give young people information on the educational and employment possibilities throughout the aquaculture value chain.

Keen to help

Crossan said: “SAIC’s social media outlets will feature the video for all to see; however, I’ve also been approached by representatives from Marine Scotland, Lantra and others, who are keen to help promote the video. It has been suggested that it could be shown in Scottish Government buildings for a month to promote aquaculture, which I would consider to be a huge success for the video itself.”

He credited his partner, John, with giving him a nudge in the direction he took to make the video. “I feel linking my video to Trainspotting – the ‘best Scottish film of all time’ as voted by the general public – would make it relatable and ensure that the inspiration behind it would be widely understood,” said Crossan.

“I was very much surprised by how popular the video has become, and the extent to which people in industry have already picked up on it.”

All of these initiatives add up to an integrated suite of skills interventions designed by SAIC to grow the talent pool in Scotland

SAIC chief executive Heather Jones
Heather Jones: Industry-wide graduate development scheme.
Heather Jones: Industry-wide graduate development scheme.

Crossan impressed so much during his time at SAIC that he was offered a post as research assistant on a part-time basis, to complement his university studies.

He chose marine biology to combine his love of biology and science with a passion for angling, and after spending time at SAIC he now plans to do an MSc in aquatic pathobiology after completing his degree.

Commenting on the launch of the #ChooseAquaculture campaign and video, SAIC chief executive Heather Jones said she was very pleased that the Centre was able to pilot a range of new skills and training modules to match students more closely to industry needs.

Industry-relevant courses

“Over the past four years, we’ve been delighted to encourage companies to take on undergraduate summer interns like Kyle; to deliver industry-relevant content to several MSc courses at a range of Scottish universities; and to launch an 18-month industry-wide graduate development scheme – the Scottish Aquaculture Junior Executive Development Programme,” said Jones.

“All of these initiatives add up to an integrated suite of skills interventions designed by SAIC to grow the talent pool in Scotland, something that industry human resources directors from all the major salmon and trout companies recently endorsed.”

Tracy Bryant-Shaw, human resources director for Scottish Sea Farms, said: “Fundamentally, SAIC’s ‘Growing the Talent Pool’ proposals get the majority of things right for me. Joining industry up more to have a voice in the skills review and a choice on how things are done and delivered would be great, and SAIC is very well placed to facilitate this.”

Watch Crossan’s video below.

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