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Seafood Proficiency Skills Served Up at Prison Learning Centre

22 May 2012, at 1:00am

UK - Lakes College has dished out a new training course in fish and shellfish industry skills (FSIS) to prisoners at HMP Haverigg, Cumbria.

The training offers prisoners the opportunity to increase their vocational skills and expertise, achieve a nationally recognised qualification and improve their long-term employability prospects on release. The qualification was developed by Seafish, the national authority on seafood, in close consultation with employers.

The prisoners already worked in the well-known prison-based smokery. The additional knowledge and skills developed on the course will allow individuals to perform to the highest possible standards. Alistair Bulloch teaches at the prison two days a week to deliver the FSIS programme.

He said: The programme has been a huge success. The trainees have gone from strength-to-strength and bring a great level of commitment and hard work to the process. For some participants, this is the first qualification they have ever gained, and it is a pleasure to be able to support their learning process. The course is giving the prisoners the skills to find worthwhile work after finishing their sentences.

One of Alistairs students has recently completed level three of the qualification and has signed up to become the programmes first fishmongery apprentice.

Dave Everett, Head of Reducing Re-Offending at the Prison, said: The project ensures prisoners gain the qualifications and work ethic to win and sustain employment on release. By working in the Smokery, prisoners experience a 40-hour week doing real work in a commercial market. They develop their technical skills as well as broader skills in enterprise - this will allow them to exploit their newly acquired skills positively in the future.

Lee Cooper, Seafood Training Team Leader at Seafish, said: Seafish has developed the FSIS qualification to be flexible enough to raise the skills and performance of employees across the entire seafood industry. Its success in this unique environment is testament to that.

The new fish and shellfish qualifications have been designed to meet the needs of employers now, and to help produce the technicians and managers of tomorrow. Alistairs skill as a tutor has ensured that the Haverigg Prison course has been a huge success, and we look forward to supporting him and the students as they continue to learn new skills over the coming years.

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