Project summary

The project partner countries Norway, Iceland and Scotland face serious enverionmental challenges related to large scale fish farming of salmon. For instance, 53 mill. salmons did die  (2017) in Norway. In some companies almost 40% of the salmon dies, while in the best one`s only 2-3 % dies. In order to fullfill the ambitious fish farming production growth targets leading to 5 times increased production within the next 30 years, it is increased demand from fish production and supply companies for job-seekers with proven expertise and competence within sustainable production of salmon. The current generation of farm operatives must develop their skills to operate increasingly sophisticated fish farming equipment and ICT systems, according to specifications, as a matter of urgency while at the same time keeping in mind a series of fish biological aspects inside the production.

The lack of job applicants with evidence of the competence and skills for sustainable farming potential employers are looking for is a shared concern. Many do have relevant skills and knowledge, which have been gained during fish farm employment within a technically related sector or informally, that go unrecognised, compounding the problem. Sophisticated systems for development, inclusion and exchange of best practice based up on sharing of skills and knowledge inside and between companies, are needed.

The partner countries VET providers and employers will work in partnership to develop and pilot learning methods and technologies that can improve the delivery of VET to work based learners through the develoment and application of best practice learning methods. All learners involved in the pilots will have gained some relevant and/or transferable knowledge and skills related to sustainable production, informally, during their employment, but will also have significant knowledge and skills gaps to address (biology). Such gaps in knowledge and skills are related to lack of environmental friendly farming, which are a serious challenge many VET teachers are faced with, when they try to apply best practice based learning outcome for work based learners in distance learning solutions consisting of a combination of e-learning and face to face training.

The introduction of training leading to best practice consits of a combination of individualised and group learning. Teachers will start applying learning processes where groups at two or several farms collaborate and cooperate on solving cases. The tools and methods can be applied to synchronous distance learning, overcoming the geographic barriers between farms that often prohibit them from travelling to conventional face to face training sessions. In addition, the problem solving process will be designed to support the format applied in the final theoretical exam, which are part of the national qualificatons (NQs) in Iceland and Norway.

The ultimate goal is to develop a new learning process that develop and transfer Best Practice (BP) learning inside and between fish farming companies. It enables individual’s informal competences and skills to become recognised and accepted, within aquaculture NQs, and built on through individualised and group learning processes.

This will be achieved by:

  • Evaluating alternative collaborative learning processes and technology being applied within innovative VET delivery systems within the partner countries, identifying best practice for sharing.
  • Piloting new, cost effective and user friendly BP methods that can determine and document evidence of a learners’ existing knowledge and skills, for acceptance of formal competences within aquaculture NQs.
  • Evaluating the learners’ experiences of the cooperative BP process and the subsequent contribution to transfer skills and knowledge inside companies and between companies, to inform the development of improved BP systems.
  • Developing new teacer guidelines for improved BP methodologies, informed by learner and employer feedback during the testpilots, piloting and evaluation phase.

Methods and technology supporting BP and group and individualised learning will be developed and improved, fully involving VET providers, industry and learners within the process. This will address industry’s skill needs priorities for key occupations, such as various types of cage farming operatives.

Fish farming companies that today are not willing to share knowledge, experiences and skills, will in a long term perspective get higher producton costs as they must keep on "reinventing the wheel". The project will apply the exisiting NQs programs to introduce a new type of learning practices stimulating collaboration and cooperation. Development and sharing of BP production and processing knowledge and skills inside and between companies, will enhance sustainable production processes and support further Blue Growth


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use, which may be made of the information contained therein.