Fish and Shellfish Apprenticeships


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  • Apprenticeships
  • Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Retail
  • Food and Drink Manufacturing
  • Nationwide

Duration 12 – 18 months.

 A work based programme of development for new entrants to the and existing employees.

Available for operatives, supervisors and managers across the UK fish and shellfish industry.  Fish frying, mongering, processing and all the other onshore sectors are supported.  Seafish recognised Apprenticeship providers are available across the UK.

Are there apprenticeships for the seafood industry?

Oh yes, and not just for those handling fish and shellfish. Apprenticeships are available for almost all of the support job roles in the industry including administrators, engineers, book keepers, sales and marketing. But on this website we will concentrate on those that deal directly with the fish and shellfish that earn our wages.

The apprenticeship you need to know about is in fish and shellfish industry skills . It's part of a wider food industry apprenticeship, but that's not important. What is important is that the fish and shellfish apprenticeship is available throughout the UK (slight difference in Scotland) and that it is ideal for operatives and team leaders working in almost any kind of fish or shellfish business.

What is an apprenticeship?

Keeping it simple, an apprenticeship is a qualification made up of two parts. Part 1 is a recognised national qualification in a technical topic - in our case that is a certificate in fish and shellfish industry skills. This bit makes up almost 75% of the whole apprenticeship. Part 2 is a set of general qualifications that are the same for almost all apprenticeships in the UK.

Anyone can do an apprenticeship, but not everyone can get funding to support the delivery of their apprenticeship. The funding rules for apprenticeships are not simple and are best discussed with your local apprenticeship provider, Careers Office/Employment Adviser or someone from the National Apprenticeship Service.

An apprenticeship is a way of developing an individual to understand much more about their job role and to develop important skills and behaviors that contribute to improved job effectiveness, job satisfaction, staff retention and overall competence.

How can the same apprenticeship fit a fishmonger and someone who purifies oysters?

To put it simply, the fish and shellfish industry skills certificate that is at the heart of our apprenticeship is made up of 135 different units that cover almost all the activities that happen in the seafood industry, from hygiene cleaning to reception of raw materials, from smoking to new product development. To get your certificate, you will on average need to complete 10 to 12 units.

This means that out of the framework, you get to reject around 120 units as not being exactly what you want! This results in a slightly confusing, BUT very flexible qualification.

We've found that two people working in the same business in the same department don't have to do the same 10 units if there is even a slight difference in their role or experience. With a little care, the apprenticeship can be tailored to the business, the department, the job role and then to the individual


It is administered by:

Seafish and the Seafood Training Academy

Seafish and the Seafood Training Academy play a key leadership role in fish and shellfish training and development in the UK. Seafish offers a variety of tailored programmes equipping individuals and businesses with the skills, understanding and knowledge to prosper in this dynamic industry. 

As the centre of excellence for the fish and shellfish network within the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, the Seafood Training Academy brings together the resources of a broad network of trainers and training organisations across the UK.

The Seafood Training Academy is a collaboration between Seafish and other partners.

From health and safety certificates to degrees and vocational qualifications, participating in learning and training can give you the knowledge and experience to progress to bigger and more rewarding roles in the seafood industry.

At Seafish and the Seafood Training Academy we are proud to provide fish and shellfish specific training opportunities for our industry.  Our approved trainers and centres, recognised apprenticeship providers and partners in the Academy can help you with your fish and shellfish related training needs.

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