The courses, funded by the Welsh Government and the European Fisheries Fund, trained the participants to a level above the basic legal requirement; subsequently six of the participants have already secured work as fishermen.
The 16 trainees were given training on key areas including navigation, engineering, boat handling, rope work, catch handling, seamanship and fishing gear construction as well as the four mandatory one-day basic training courses that are legally required.
Brent Jones (22) from Rhos-on-Sea, who completed the course said: “I am lucky to have recently secured a job in Plymouth, scallop fishing, so this course has given me the confidence and knowledge to improve my prospects of progression. We have learned so much in such a short time from the tutors and local fishermen, who have kindly given up their time to pass on their skills.”
Following the course, students can further their knowledge on the Seafish online learning website http://seafishonlinetraining.co.uk where individuals can register for free to gain access to training resources.
The training providers can also direct trainees to http://findafishingboat.com/fishing-marine-jobs-crew-available where employment opportunities for deckhands are advertised.
Andy White, Coordinator of Marine courses at Coleg Llandrillo, said: “The partnership that is being developed between Coleg Llandrillo and Seafish will hopefully mean that we can add fishing to the existing range of leisure and commercial provision that the centre provides by becoming a Seafish Approved Training Provider. This is a fantastic opportunity, not just for the College but for young people seeking a career within the fishing industry. It was exciting to be involved in the delivery of a relevant, broad-ranging and practical course which has offered good opportunities for progression to participants."
Seafish recently announced that continued funding is in place for its current portfolio of training programmes, including the Introduction to Commercial Fishing course, for at least another six months. Richard Wardell, Seafish Fishermen’s Training Manager highlighted: “It’s great news that we are able to fund more of these training courses. We are currently exploring various funding opportunities which will enable us to support fishermen’s voluntary training beyond 30 September 2014.”