Lead Maintenance Engineer at Cooke Aquaculture

A Career, A Way of Life, A Future

Julius Garrett, Cooke Aquaculture

What is your job and what does it involve?

Lead Maintenance Engineer for Orkney Packing Station. Repairing, maintaining and upgrading the electrical services, mechanical services and manufacturing equipment at Cooke Aquaculture’s Orkney Packing Station. This can be anything from automated salmon gutting machinery, to large scale ice production machinery, to waste water filtration.

What got you into salmon farming?

Coming from a red meat production background, I was unable to remain in the processing sector due to lack of local opportunity. So moving into fish processing was a natural move and has got me back to the type of industry I started out in.

What excites you most about the sector?

The Scottish salmon aquaculture industry is an expanding industry creating high quality and high value products. This gives rise to stable jobs for the local community.

Why do you enjoy what you do?

I enjoy my job because of the large variety in work from day to day. One minute I can be working inside a control panel. The next doing welding or mechanical repairs.

What advice would you give to other young people considering a career in the salmon farming sector?

Get an early night, because it’s an early start.

How does technology/digital transformation improve your work?

Technology is increasingly used to help us carry out our jobs at ops. We use apps to carry out risk assessments, apps for lone working alarms. This saves time and improves safety.

Was salmon farming an opportunity for you to return to, or stay in your local community?

Salmon farming has allowed me to secure well-paid and stable employment within my local community. It allows me to live and work in Kirkwall. It has given me a job that allows me to use my skill set, with the chance of advancement.

How does your company and community work together?

Cooke aquaculture sponsors a lot of local sports teams and also donates to charity.