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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Cumbria fishing course hopes to land apprentices

A UNIQUE sea fishing apprenticeship has been launched to boost employment in north and west Cumbria.

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Trawler: ’We are looking for applicants determined enough to work in hard industry’

The scheme for local applicants is to be run initially as a pilot which will and then hopefully continue in following years.

The Whitby and District Fishing Industry Training School aims to attract and enrol six people aged between 16 and 24 to complete the Level 2 Apprenticeship in Maritime Studies – Sea Fishing.

Successful applicants will lodge in Whitby, North Yorkshire for ten weeks.

They will complete classroom based training in all aspects of the sea fishing industry.

Apprentices will then return to their coastal area to complete work-based learning on board local west coast fishing boats, supported by a an area training coordinator in their area.

The scheme is being run by Whitby and District Fishing Industry Training School, which is presently the only training centre in the UK to offer this apprenticeship.

Chief executive Anne Hornigold said: “The apprenticeship has been running now for nearly 11 years. We are thrilled to have received funding support for this pilot scheme via the North & West Cumbria FLAG and the MMO, and step-up to the challenge with enthusiasm.

“We are looking for applicants who are determined enough to work in a hard industry”.

She added: “One west Cumbrian lad who had just started fishing said he would rather come over here and start the apprenticeship to get all the qualifications.”

The scheme, to begin in January 2013, is currently advertising for a full time training coordinator who is local to the coastal area and who will guide the apprentices through their sea-going training.

The scheme will also require the support of at least six west coast skippers and crew who are willing to take on an apprentice to train.

The skippers will not be required to pay a share to the apprentice, who will be funded via an alternative scheme.

The course places a very strong emphasis on safety.

Ms Hornigold said: “Safety is absolutely paramount. We have run this system for 11 years and we haven’t had a single accident.”

The course is supported by the North and West Cumbria Fisheries Local Action Group, and the Marine Management Organisation.

Candidates must have a basic level of maths and English and two good references to be selected for the course.

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