Future proofing the fishing industry

Future proofing the fishing industry

A number of Fleetwood fish processors and industry body Seafish have teamed up with Blackpool and The Fylde College in a bid to tackle the industry’s gaping skills gap.

The companies have launched a new traineeship giving unemployed young people a head start in the seafood industry.

The 15-week course, starting later this month, has been designed to reflect the type of skills that are needed to future-proof the sector.

The programme is open to unemployed 16 to 24 year olds with little or no previous work experience or qualifications and includes a work placement three days a week.

Depending on the employer there could also be a chance of career experience in areas such as marketing, purchasing and delivery.

Fleetwood-based merchants My Fish Company is one of the employers taking part in the traineeship.

Director Kim Ashton said: “There is a recognised shortage of skilled filleters not only in the North West but nationwide.

“With such a strong fish and seafood heritage linked to Fleetwood, many young people want to follow in the footsteps of a parent or grandparent with no real understanding of what the environment is like to work in every day. 

“The traineeship offers the best of both worlds, not only to employers but also to the young people. Each one has an opportunity to ensure a good fit and take a few weeks to decide whether they suit each other. 

“For employers it is almost a 15-week interview and for young people an opportunity to trial their chosen career before making the final decision of a full time apprenticeship.”

Patrick Hayton, company director of wholesaler Midland Fish, added: “Midland Fish are proud to be supporting Blackpool and Fylde College.

“We are excited at the prospect of recruiting new young local people, and giving them a chance to learn and create new job opportunities in the town’s fishing industry.

“We feel it is important not just to ourselves and the industry but to the heritage of Fleetwood town and its history.

“We look forward to creating long term employment in our sector and feel that fresh blood could drive the town’s industry on further.”


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