New course will give youngsters start in industry

A Fylde coast college has vowed to give young people a leg-up into Fleetwood's age-old fishing industry.

Wednesday, 6th July 2016, 1:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th July 2016, 2:32 pm
Dawn Leak from Illuminate Training Solutions

A new fish and shellfish traineeship designed to give young people a foot in the door of the fish processing industry is being launched at Blackpool and The Fylde College.

Aimed at 16 to 24 year olds with little or no work experience, the traineeship will include a combination of study at the college and work at fish processing companies in Fleetwood.

The programme is supported by Lancashire County Council and seafood industry national body Seafish. It will start at the college in September and run for 15 weeks.

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A scene from Fleetwoods fishing heyday

Dawn Leak, director of sales and operations for Illuminate Training Solutions, said: “Fish processors, both in Fleetwood and elsewhere, are increasingly telling us of the need to upskill and recruit more young people to future-proof this particular industry.

“This new traineeship is our way of filling that skills gap and providing an important first step on the employment ladder for those who have left school with no formal qualifications.

“We’ve worked closely with the employers involved to ensure the programme is tailored to what they need, at the same time as creating significant work experience for the trainees taking part and supporting their progression to an apprenticeship.”

Tracey McNamara, Lancashire County Council’s wellbeing, early help and prevention service, said: “This scheme will help local youngsters get a foot in the door of an important Fleetwood industry.

A scene from Fleetwoods fishing heyday

“We wish to revive the fishing industry with a new generation and this fabulous scheme backed by local fish and seafood businesses in Fleetwood is the ideal way forward to create the Billingsgate of the North.”

Patrick Hayton, company director of Midland Fish, wholesaler fish merchants in Fleetwood, said: “We are excited at the prospect of recruiting new young local people, and giving them a chance to learn and create new job opportunities in the town’s fishing industry.

“We feel it is important not just to ourselves and the industry but to the heritage of Fleetwood town and its history. We look forward to creating long term employment in our sector and feel that fresh blood could drive the town’s industry on further.”

Young people who are interested should call Illuminate Training Solutions on 0330 024 1234.