SAIC aims to attract additional talent to aquaculture sector

Published on
August 8, 2022
Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre Head of Skills and Talent Jillian Couto-Phoenix

The Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has appointed Jillian Couto-Phoenix to serve as SAIC's new head of skills and talent, with the task of leading the Scotland-based organization’s career-development programs to help attract new talent to the sector.

Couto-Phoenix joins SAIC from the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, where she was a program manager for the National Transition Training Fund, focusing on upskilling and training to meet the industry’s digital transformation, net-zero, and sustainability skills requirements. 

Since 2019, she has also been an innovation consultant, helping academics bridge the gap between research and innovation, as well as delivering workshops for masters- and doctoral-level researchers.

In her role with SAIC, Couto-Phoenix will oversee the innovation center’s training, leadership, and sector engagement programs. She will work closely with aquaculture professionals, colleges, and universities on skills initiatives, as well as the development of SAIC’s support for internships, graduates, and master’s students.

“Aquaculture offers so many fantastic career opportunities and I hope to support this further. With sustainability becoming ever more important to the aquaculture sector, I’m keen to share my knowledge and help develop and deliver support for the current aquaculture workforce as well as the next generation of talent coming through,” Couto-Phoenix said.

SAIC CEO Heather Jones said the role was crucial to matching the needs of the sector with new talent starting careers in aquaculture.

“Jillian’s knowledge will be particularly invaluable in meeting the needs of both the sector and our academic institutions,” Jones said. “She will also hold an important role in supporting integration of skills across projects and knowledge exchange activities within SAIC.”

Also joining SAIC is Janina Costa, a postdoctoral scientist from the Aquaculture Research Group (ARG) at the Moredun Research Institute, who has been appointed to the role of Aquaculture Innovation Officer. Costa specializes in fish health, immunology, and vaccine development and has more than 20 years of experience as a scientist and consultant.

The new appointments follow the recent promotion of Daniel Carcajona to senior aquaculture innovation officer and Lynsey Muir to aquaculture innovation officer.

Photo courtesy of the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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