Incredibly useful online courses

Richard Wardell, our Onshore Training Advisor, outlines the existing funded training programmes accessible to onshore seafood businesses.

During Covid-19, we have made funds available to support onshore businesses wishing to undertake our online learning programmes. We understand that the past few months have been extremely challenging. However, we believe now is the ideal time for staff to study for and gain a qualification.

To complement the Seafish funding, Skills Development Scotland is also providing funding to assist land-based Scottish seafood businesses. Seafood Scotland is administering this training programme and is being assisted by us and partners of the Scottish Seafood Training Network.

As well as the financial subsidy, there are other benefits of getting involved with our online training courses. For individuals, it provides them with a development opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge. For the business, it delivers motivated team members who are more likely to stay working for them.

Over the past six months, we have reviewed the way our training programmes and exams are delivered. Courses that were previously delivered in a classroom environment, including Bivalve Purification Operations and Introduction to HACCP are now being presented using the virtual platform Zoom.

One of the many businesses to take advantage of the funded training is Young’s Seafood in Annan. Jennifer Howatson, HR Manager says:

Some of our staff have recently benefitted from attending the Principles of Fish Quality Assessment course which was delivered using Zoom. Remote training courses are advantageous as they save on travel time and costs when compared with classroom taught programmes.
Jennifer Howatson, HR Manager at Young’s Seafood

The online learning materials for our Elementary Food Hygiene and Health & Safety qualifications have been freely available for a couple of years. However, we have now created a system whereby candidates can complete their exam remotely with a Seafish approved exam invigilator.

The invigilator shares the exam paper on their screen with the learner, using Microsoft Teams or Zoom. The benefit of using this remote system is that the exam paper is marked instantly and the student finds out their result immediately after completing the exam. Currently, these two nationally recognised qualifications are fully funded.

In late 2019, Nikki Horne and her husband sold their hotel and seafood restaurant on the west coast of Scotland. Very keen to continue the seafood theme, they bought another seafood restaurant and crab processing unit in Salcombe. Unfortunately in March 2020, they had to close their new business due to Covid-19. Nikki of the Crab Shed Salcombe continues their story:

We realised we needed to think of ways to keep our staff engaged and motivated in our new business. It was with great pleasure I found that Seafish was offering some incredibly useful online courses.

Two staff completed the Elementary Food Hygiene programme using Polish learning materials while I completed the Introduction to HACCP course and invigilated exam via Zoom. Even when I took the exam, I found being in my own home allowed me more time to think about the questions without feeling pressured like I would have done in a classroom environment.
Nikki Horne, Crab Shed Salcombe

Businesses in England, Northern Ireland and Wales can apply for funding by completing our Expression of Interest form.

Businesses in Scotland can find out how to apply for on the Seafood Training Academy website:

All businesses can contact the Seafish Onshore Training Team, onshore@seafish.co.uk if they have any questions about the funded training.