Funding for safety training

Help to develop knowledge, skills and qualifications

Thanks to support from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (via Defra and the Devolved Administrations) limited funding is available in some areas to support experienced commercial fishermen undertaking safety training to develop their knowledge, skills and qualifications above and beyond minimum legal requirements, as well as new entrants wanting to enter the fishing industry.

Please note: This funding is allocated on a regional basis and at present it is only available for commercial fishermen in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Eligible courses

  • New Entrant Training – our three-week Introduction to Commercial Fishing course is designed for people interested in starting a career in the fishing industry.
  • Refresher Safety Training – this can be undertaken by experienced fishermen who completed their mandatory safety training more than three years ago. The courses cover 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 and GMDSS radio operation. Additional funding is also available for fishermen who already hold the Seafish Under 16.5m skipper's certificate to undertake 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) or Human Element Leadership and Management (HELM).

How to apply

For refresher training or voluntary training courses towards an Under 16.5m Skipper’s Certificate, contact your local Seafish Approved Training Provider (ATP) and, providing you satisfy the eligibility criteria and funding is still available, they will offer you the course free of charge.

If you wish to undertake training with anyone other than a Seafish ATP you will have to fill out a training grant application. Funding for more advanced qualifications, such as a Certificate of Competency, can only be obtained by submission of a grant application form. 

Please note

  • Funding is not available retrospectively, so all applications must be approved in advance of training being undertaken.
  • Available funding is allocated on a first come first serve basis so funding cannot be guaranteed. 


Contact our Fishermen's Safety Training team on 01472 252302 or email