New Scottish fishing apprenticeship scheme offers chance of entry level jobs

A new scheme is offering fishing apprenticeships to young people in Scotland.

The Modern Apprenticeship in Sea Fishing is open to people aged from 16 to 24 and gives them the chance to get access to an entry level role as a trawlerman or trawlerwoman in Scotland's 500 million fishing industry.

Fishermen from across Scotland have helped to develop the new apprenticeship, which aims to help boost the future of the industry while also providing new career opportunities for young people in Scotland.

The scheme initially intends to recruit around 20 new apprentices per year.

Describing new recruits as the "lifeblood" of the industry, Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "If we are to secure the future of fishing in Scotland we need to do all we can to make a career in fishing more accessible for young people."

There needs to be a large enough pool of "skills and manpower" available to the country's fishing fleet in order for it to thrive, he continued.

The politician said that the launch of the new Scottish fishing apprenticeships therefore "marks a very positive start to the year" for the industry.

"The fishing industry is hugely important to our coastal communities and this investment in modern apprenticeships demonstrates how government and industry are working together in close partnership to ensure fishing continues to be a viable way of life for many generations to come," Mr Lochhead added.

Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance also reasserted the Government's commitment to helping young people into employment, saying: "We are investing in 25,000 modern apprenticeships in every year of this Parliament."

She said there are now modern apprenticeships providing routes into "more than 100 potential career pathways".

The minister added that she has been telling the country's business leaders over the past year that the recruitment of young people can "add real spark to a business".

By giving people jobs at the very first rung of their careers, she said employers can benefit by getting "loyalty and innovation" in return.

"Scotland's fishing industry is no exception, and I would call upon the sector to consider taking on a modern apprentice," she urged.

Copyright Press Association 2013