TWO new entrants to the fish catching Skillseekers’ programme undertook basic training last week, including sea survival involving the rescue helicopter Oscar Charlie.
Daniel Clark and Mark Kearney will now spend time onboard two of Shetland’s new whitefish boats, the Copious and the Prolific.
The training was delivered by the NAFC Marine Centre and Train Shetland.
The one-year programme provides opportunities to give young people the right start in their chosen career.
After the initial week’s training, which qualifies them as legal to go to sea, the participants take up placements on board local vessels before returning to the marine centre later in the year for further training, including net mending and basic navigation.
The candidates explained why they were attracted to the programme and why they thought it was good route to take to becoming a fisherman.
Mr Kearney said: “I appreciate the fact that this is a structured course of learning which leads to a qualification, and it is paid for by the programme funders.
“I particularly enjoyed the fire fighting and sea survival aspects of the course, which were definitely the highlights of the week for me.
“I’m now very much looking forward to spending time on a fishing boat with the crew and learning about the different aspects of the job. I would definitely encourage others to apply to the programme – it is a very worthwhile learning experience and the qualification will set me in good stead for the future.”
Mr Clark said: “I’m ready to gain some real on-the-job experience now and, whether or not I actually become a fisherman or work in another job at sea, this qualification and the short course certificates will be extremely useful for my future.”
NAFC training co-ordinator Caroline Hepburn said: “It is always heartening to see young people seeking a career in the local fishing industry.
“I hope that this first week spent gaining the certificates they require to launch their career will be the beginning of a long association with the NAFC and that they will return through time to study for their skippers’ tickets.”