Training programmes to attract new recruits and improve the quality of training in the fishing, seafood and aquaculture sectors have been awarded funding from the £100 million UK Seafood Fund.
Coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week, the seven projects include pilot courses at London’s famous Billingsgate market covering technical skills such as the delivery, preparation and cooking of seafood, practical qualifications for manning fishing vessels in Cornwall, and training for school leavers in Scotland going into the seafood industry.
A degree and higher level skills offer for aspiring managers in the seafood industry will also be developed by University of Lincoln, while in Grimsby training courses will be run to attract local people into the seafood sector.
‘We are delighted to have been awarded funds to adapt our successful food manufacturing higher and degree apprenticeship offer and develop new provision to meet the skills needs of Seafood Processing businesses. The new programmes will support the development of aspiring leaders in our sustainability led and rapidly changing sector and we look forward to collaborating with businesses and partners across the UK to fuel the talent pipeline,’ said Professor Val Braybrooks, Dean at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing, University of Lincoln.
‘We are indebted to members of the Seafood Grimsby and Humber Alliance (SGHA) for their support in informing our plans and we now look forward to working together with the sectors’ employers across the country, along with our educational partner the University of the Highlands and Islands in Shetland, to deliver this flagship skills scheme for the industry and unite our clusters and Seafood Processing communities through it.’
The projects awarded funding will receive grants of up to £250,000 to fund the creation or redesign of pilot training courses, with over £1 million awarded overall. It comes as a second round of funding for skills and training is launched with up to £8 million made available to modernise training facilities and increase access to opportunities across the UK – applications are open until 12pm on 21st April.
The pilot training courses in the first round aim to enhance technical skills and increase knowledge on sustainability, and ensure a high quality of training for existing workers, new entrants and young people into the sector. They also promote seafood career opportunities, raise awareness of the sector amongst young people and schoolchildren, and address access barriers commonly faced by remote coastal communities.
‘We are thrilled to have been successful with our bid to the UK Seafood Fund, which was prepared in close collaboration with UHI West Highland and our partners in the seafood sector,’ said Jane Lewis, Principal and Chief Executive of UHI Shetland.
‘This project will be run through our new Centre for Sustainable Seafood and will act as a catalyst to help provide a sustainable workforce for a sustainable seafood sector. We are delighted that we can use this funding to continue to support the seafood sector, which is such a vital part of economy of the Highlands and Islands. Through our joint expertise in blended learning, we will also be able to widen access to reach potential students online no matter where they live.’