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Scotland moves to address gender imbalance in aquaculture industry


(Image from: University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness)

The Scottish government recently unveiled a program aimed at addressing sexual inequality and lack of job opportunities for women in the nation’s aquaculture industry.

The government’s Women in the Rural Economy Training Fund will provide £100,000 (US$140,456) worth of practical training to help women develop the needed skills and talents to work in the industry.

Earlier in January the government also released the Women in Agriculture Practical Training Fund. Together the two programs aim to “help address the current gender imbalance” within a range of industries, including aquaculture, conservation, fisheries, forestry, horticulture, land-based engineering and wildlife management, according to a press release from the government.

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The scheme will be administered by Lantra Scotland. Beneficiaries will receive a full funding of up to £500 (US$700) per course. Support for courses above this value will be assessed on a case by case basis by a review panel.

“There is a clear need for providing women in our rural communities with more access to training and reskilling opportunities,” said Fergus Ewing, secretary of rural economy. “We know that the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women’s jobs and incomes.”

“Businesses with a diverse workforce are more resilient, able to appeal to a wider market, and better placed to solve problems in innovative ways. This is great news for rural Scotland,” said Dr Liz Barron-Majerik, director of Lantra Scotland.

For guidance on eligibility, what you can apply for, or any part of the funding application process, contact scotland@lantra.co.uk.

The fund is open from February 20, 2021, and applications should be made through Lantra Scotland. Applications must be received by 31st March 2021.


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