Among the many educational sessions held at the 2023 RASTech Conference and Trade Fair in Orlando, FL, was a session focused on Recruitment and Talent Management. The session featured two representatives of the industry in Maine – Mary Scarlett Tudor of the University of Maine’s Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI) and Christian Brayden of the Maine Aquaculture Association (MAA).
Tudor noted that it can be a challenge to determine if an applicant has the required skills even if they have a seemingly relevant education – a marine science degree from the University of Ohio would likely be very different from a marine science degree from the University of Maine, for example. So they developed micro-credentials.
“Micro-credentials are a digital badge,” said Tudor. “As an employer, if one of my students that has a credential, they can actually embed it in their CV, you can click on that credential and it will take you to a University of Maine website to tell you exactly the skill sets the student showed proficiency in to earn that badge.”
Tudor also spoke about developing occupational competencies through ARI’s experiential courses in aquaculture and an industry-partnered externship program. Given the importance of those occupational competencies, Brayden said that the MAA has pushed occupational standards so that all jobs and training could be better understood.
“The goals are to list the technical skills and knowledge needed for different jobs within the sector,” said Brayden. “We’re trying to show for both employers and those seeking employment, what is expected from them in terms of skills – that could be through coursework – or different types of knowledge.”
In order to support that effort, the MAA also has a long list of internships, pre-apprenticeship programs and other efforts intended on ensuring that the workforce is developed in ways that specifically support Maine’s industry.
This story was originally published in Aquaculture North America.
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