I have many reasons to urge all the councillors to use their vote very carefully next week to keep the Scalloway Junior High School secondary department open. I have been very disappointed by the flawed proposal paper and the consultation report, which failed to address many of the points and concerns raised. However, I wish to highlight some issues regarding aquaculture in this letter.
The SJHS has for many years and continues to have very strong links with the NAFC Marine Centre.
The NPA course at the NAFC Marine Centre is very important for any pupil wishing to have a career in aquaculture, engineering and fishing. As I understand the AHS currently does not offer these courses to pupils, while Scalloway does. Scalloway is a hub for aquaculture and fishing and is one of the three most fisheries dependent communities in Scotland. To take away the educational benefits received at SJHS, that quite a number of these pupils would utilize in their chosen careers, is undeniably a big mistake.
SJHS also has very strong ties with the aquaculture and fishing industries; if these ties are cut this will have a very negative impact on the industry and result in difficulty recruiting new people to the industry. The combined seafood industry is worth over £200 million and is the biggest sector in terms of value to Shetland’s economy. It is very important that these pupils are allowed to follow this career choice, and that the industry continues to be able to recruit the well-educated and work-ready pupils we do at present.
These views are supported by Seafood Shetland and Shetland Aquaculture. Their responses to the proposal paper have been published on the blueprint website.
I hope our councillors will consider these points along with the many other reasons to keep Scalloway Junior High School secondary department open.
East Voe Shellfish Ltd,