Funding support for training in the fishing industry

Funding may be available for workers on fishing vessels in the UK to improve their skills and safety knowledge. Find out what training we can cover.

We can help to fund a range of training for people working on fishing vessels in the UK. The funds have come from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the new Maritime and Fisheries Funds from the four fisheries administrations in the UK. 

The funds may be used to cover a range of safety training to improve your knowledge, skills and qualifications above and beyond the minimum legal requirements.

It can also be used to support people who want to start a career in the fishing industry.

Courses eligible for funding

A trainee is putting out a fire with the trainer standing beside him for safety
Refresher safety training is eligible for funding

The following courses may be eligible for funding. The courses are run by our Approved Training Providers who will receive the funding directly once the funds have been approved. 

New Entrant Training
Our 3-week Introduction to Commercial Fishing course is designed for people interested in starting a career in the fishing industry. Please note: this course is currently under review.

Refresher safety Training
This can be taken by experienced fishermen who completed the mandatory safety training more than three years ago. The courses include sea survival, fire-fighting, first aid and safety awareness. 

Under 16.5m Skipper's Certificate
Comprising short courses in

  • Navigation/Bridge Watchkeeping
  • Engineering/Engine Room Watchkeeping
  • Stability Awareness
  • GMDSS radio operation

Additional funding is also available for fishermen who already hold the Seafish Under 16.5m skipper's certificate to take further advanced courses.

Certificates of Competency
Grant support is available for experienced fishermen undertaking MCA (Fishing Vessel) Deck and Engineer Officer Certificates of Competency. 

Other short courses
Other eligible courses may include:

  • a higher level GMDSS radio operator certificate
  • an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS)
  • Approved Engineering Course (AEC)
  • Human Element Leadership and Management (HELM)
A man is working on an engine from a fishing vessel as part of a training course.
You can improve your skills in things like engineering

How to apply

You must complete a funding application form and seek approval from us in advance of any training. Follow the link below to download an application form in Microsoft Word. 

For refresher training or voluntary training courses towards an Under 16.5m Skipper’s Certificate, contact your local Seafish Approved Training Provider (ATP). We have training providers around the UK. Follow the link below to find your local Approved Training Provider.

If you satisfy their eligibility criteria and funding is still available, they will offer you the course free of charge.

If you want to do the training with a trainer that is not Seafish approved, please complete the funding application form (link to form above) and seek approval from us in advance of any training.

Terms and conditions of funding

Funding is not available retrospectively, so all applications must be approved in advance of training.

Available funding is allocated on a first come, first served basis so funding cannot be guaranteed. 

Funding for online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic

Additional funding has been provided by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Trinity House to enable us to offer free online tutor support and assessments via our network of approved training providers.

The funding can be used to support you with the following courses in our Seafish Online Training platform: 

  • Navigation
  • Engineering
  • Stability awareness

These courses have been selected for funding because they make up some of the requirements of our voluntary under 16.5m skipper certificates. Anyone who passes the online, supervised end-of-course assessments will be issued with Seafish certificates for:

  • two-day navigation
  • two-day engineering
  • one-day stability awareness

To take advantage of this offer, contact our Training team on The team will provide whatever assistance is required and arrange tutor support and/or assessment.


For more information on funding for training, contact our Fishing Training team, email or call on 0131 558 3331.