With the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) once again being show sponsor for the forthcoming Skipper Expo Int. Aberdeen on May 29 and 30, a key theme at the event will be the promotion of career opportunities for youngsters in fishing.
Under the show theme of ‘Fishing for the Future’, the SFF and its partners - Aberdeenshire Council, Scottish Maritime Academy and the Sea Fish Industry Authority - will be promoting a recently launched initiative to encourage youngsters to consider a career in commercial fishing.
Under the initiative, school-leavers in Aberdeenshire are being offered the opportunity to undertake a three week introductory and safety course in fishing at the Scottish Maritime Academy (SMA) in Peterhead followed by a two-month work placement aboard a working fishing vessel.
Participants who decide that fishing is their career of choice, will then have the opportunity to apply for a two year Modern Apprenticeship course leading to a qualified deckhand certification.
On completion of this, those looking for further advancement can join defined career pathway training for navigation officer or marine engineering qualifications.
The scheme is also supported by Skills Development Scotland.
At the expo, a small number of specially invited Aberdeenshire school-leavers who have expressed a real desire to participate in this training, will be able to get more information on the scheme at the SFF and Aberdeenshire Council stands, as well as gain a good overview of the fishing industry by attending the event.
Derek McDonald, Industry Support Executive (Rural & Maritime) for Aberdeenshire Council said: “The council welcomes the opportunity to help the Scottish fishing industry to engage with our young people at the Scottish Skipper Expo and to provide an insight into career options.”
Linda Hope, Scottish Maritime Academy manager, added: “The college is committed to supporting fishermen’s training and this exciting initiative will help to attract the next generation of skippers.”