Training for new entrants to the fishing industry

There are a variety of training courses and apprenticeships available for new entrants to the fishing industry.

Introduction to Commercial Fishing

Seafish’s three-day Introduction to Commercial Fishing (ICF) course is designed for individuals interested in starting a career in the fishing industry.

The course gives new entrants a basic knowledge and awareness of different activities that are commonplace aboard commercial fishing vessels. It also includes sea survival, one of the four one-day courses which are a legal requirement for any new fishermen entering the industry. After gaining some seagoing experience, the candidate will then need to complete first aid, firefighting and health & safety within 3 months to continue working as a commercial fisherman.

Anyone interested in this course should contact an Approved Training Provider for further details – the course is delivered by Anglo-Scottish Seafish Industry Group Training Association, NEAT Training Fishermen’s College and Seafood Cornwall Training.


The NAFC Marine Centre in Shetland offers the Modern Apprenticeship in Maritime Occupations – Sea Fishing pathway. NAFC also offers Deck Rating and Engine Room Rating Certificates of Competence.

A Fisher Apprenticeship standard has been developed by the Cornish Fish Producer Organisation for use in England and it is hoped that delivery will commence in early 2022.

Apprenticeships and Diplomas are the gold-standard training programme for new entrants wanting to get their fishing careers off to the best possible start. Find out more by following the links below. 

Other training courses

The Scottish Maritime Academy in Peterhead offers a twelve-week Maritime Studies - Trainee Deckhand programme in addition to other Certificate of Competence programmes. Find out more by following the link below. 

The Whitby & District Fishing Industry Training School offers a Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies (Sea Fishing Pathway).


Contact our Fishermen's Safety Training team on 0131 558 3331 or by email