The Network supports a key theme of the Welsh Government’s Food and Drink Action Plan – promoting career opportunities and designing training and skills frameworks to support Welsh businesses. The Network is working closely with training providers to develop training programmes and offer apprenticeships that meet the needs of businesses and individuals across the onshore seafood sector in Wales, and will provide fish and shellfish businesses with advice on training workforce development and funding sources.
Over eleven employers have joined the network already, with more expected to join over the next few months.
One of those businesses is Ashton Fishmongers in Cardiff. Managing Director Jonathan Adams, who is also President of the National Federation of Fishmongers, said: “Our industry requires a wide range of skills which are necessary to operate at the highest level from fishing to wholesaling, fishmongering and fish frying. Training is an extremely important part of all businesses which is sometimes neglected in this industry but I am confident that The Network will improve things dramatically.
“Speaking as a retailer I am lucky to be a fifth generation fishmonger so training in my business has never been a problem. However, for someone starting out in the industry, it is vital to have a structure in place to assist in all elements of the job.”
Holly Whiteley, Seafish project manager for Wales, said: “The establishment of The Network in Wales presents a real opportunity for Welsh businesses to develop their workforce and for youngsters interested in a career in the food industry to gain an apprenticeship and a range of training.
“We have a range of businesses on board including shellfish merchants and processors, fishmongers, and restaurants who will all have a key role in developing The Network by helping us identify the specific training needs of the seafood industry in Wales.”
The Network is currently able to support training in skills as diverse as fish preparation and filleting, seafood smoking, fish frying and managing fish frying operations, fish quality assessment and other fish-specific programmes.
For further information on The Network, visit http://www.seafoodacademy.org/NetworkWales.htm