A NEW modern apprenticeship programme to give young people the opportunity to enter Scotland’s £500 million fishing industry has been launched.
Developed alongside fishermen from across Scotland, the Modern Apprenticeship in Sea Fishing will offer young people aged 16 to 24 an entry route into a fishing career. Initial projections are for 20 young people each year to be offered an apprenticeship to learn the skills of a trawlerman.
Announcing the development ahead of attending a ‘Quayside Conversation’ meeting with the local fishing industry in Buckie, Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “New entrants are the future life blood of the fishing industry and if we are to secure the future of fishing in Scotland we need to do all we can make a career in fishing more accessible for young people.
“We need to ensure that the fleet can access the skills and manpower needed to be successful. Therefore the launch of the new apprenticeship scheme marks a very positive start to the year for Scottish fishing.
“The fishing industry is hugely important to our coastal communities and this investment in modern apprenticeships demonstrates how government and industry are working together in close partnership to ensure fishing continues to be a viable way of life for many generations to come.”
Derek Cardno, Marine Safety and Training Officer for the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), said: “The SFF is delighted to receive confirmation that the MA in Sea Fishing is being added to the Maritime Occupations Framework. The apprenticeship now gives industry the opportunity to attract new entrants from across Scotland into the industry.
“For decades it has been the fishing communities where traditionally crews have come from, but now we can offer school leavers from all areas of Scotland an exciting structured career in a very dynamic industry. The focus for industry in designing the new structure was to enhance the training of new entrants, which will, in turn, make the industry a safer place to work.
“I would like express thanks to all those who have supported me in this journey to see the MA in Sea Fishing come to fruition, including SFF Safety and Training committee members, other industry representatives in Scotland, Marine Scotland, Seafish and the Maritime Skills Alliance.”
The Maritime Occupation Level 2 Modern Apprenticeship in Sea Fishing has been created by the Maritime Skills Alliance and Skills for Logistics. Its development involved collaboration between government and industry – including Marine Scotland, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, Skills Development Scotland and Seafish.