Aquaculture in the UK is still relatively new, with salmon farming only having been around for the last 40 years or so. But as some of the pioneers now retire there's a new generation ready to make the most of the opportunities on offer.

A report by the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) reveals that almost a third of the workforce in the salmon farming sector are under 30.

Data published by the SSPO shows that more than 700 young people between the ages of 17 and 30 are directly employed in the sector.

(Click here to read the full report)

While many are employed on the farms, there is also a wide range of jobs including engineering, veterinary, processing, sales and marketing, HR, laboratories and research.

Salmon farming, which offers an average salary of £34,000, also gives these young people the chance to pursue careers in the rural communities in which they themselves grew up.

Julie Hesketh-Laird, chief executive of the SSPO, said:

Salmon farming companies have become house builders and telecoms advocates, supporting local community initiatives and schools to help all their workers, especially the young, find suitable modern facilities in the remote areas where they work.

“The chance for young people to live and work in the rural areas they were brought up in is very important. As a result, salmon farming companies often have several generations from the same family as loyal employees.

The sector works closely with many organisations like Lantra, Skills Development Scotland, North Atlantic Fisheries College, Inverness College, the Institute of Aquaculture and others to offer as many development opportunities as possible to young people interested in a career in aquaculture.

The SSPO report also features case studies of some of the young people employed in the sector who describe their jobs and the opportunities that working in salmon farming offers them.

If you're interested in a career in aquaculture click here to see what jobs are currently available.

To read about other people making the most of the opportunities offered in one of the UK's most dynamic and innovative farming sector's head to our Education section.