Case Study - George Hooper, Fishmonger
George Hooper, 20, is a Director and Fishmonger at his family business GCH Fishmongers, in Bedfordshire. The shop provides a selection of fresh fish sourced daily from Newlyn, Grimsby, Billingsgate and Wales.
"After leaving school with a variety of GCSEs, I worked as a regional fish specialist and fish counter trainer for a leading supermarket.
Working in the seafood industry has provided me with many opportunities to meet people across the UK and the rest of the world.
Recently I was named as the youngest ever winner of the British Fish Craft Championships; it was an unforgettable moment for me and one I'll always be proud of.
I'd wanted to work in the seafood sector since I was little, and had big ambitions of helping to run the family business as soon as I was old enough.
You never stop learning in the seafood industry and the knowledge that you develop has to be one of my favourite parts of the job. I would encourage anyone who's considering a career in the industry to take the plunge and do it, there's so much opportunity and room for progression.
One of the key skills that you learn quickly when training to be a fishmonger is how to communicate effectively. For me, being able to speak to customers is probably the most crucial part of the role, as is being confident enough to have faith in your ability - whether in relation to species knowledge or knife skills. It's a great feeling when you are able to go above and beyond to meet the customer expectations and deliver great results.
As director of the company, I've also gained hands-on experience in business management, learning about the buying and selling process and gaining a better understanding of how a business operates whilst doing the job.
Travel is an added bonus to working in this industry, with my next trip planned to Norway, to visit Halibut farms. I'm excited to see what the future will bring and I'm looking forward to even more progression by increasing the number of hotels, restaurants and pubs we supply.
Working in the seafood industry can definitely open doors to a world of opportunity."