Recognised in October with the Marine Stewardship Council Award for Fresh Fish Foodservice Supplier of the Year, local seafood wholesaler Taylor’s, part of Direct Seafood’s, has turned its attention to offering up support and further skill development for its new and more experienced fishmongers, with a dedicated apprenticeship scheme.
Developed with Crosby Training, the North Shields-based site has three employees currently enrolled on the scheme.
The bespoke fishmonger apprenticeship scheme aims to give local wholesale fishmongers the skills and knowledge to take their career development to the next level.
Launched in March this year, the course is carried out over 12 months and covers modules in the key areas involved in wholesale fishmonger operations. These include:
➤ Food safety
➤ Health and safety
➤ Picking and packing
➤ Knife skills
Each of these modules contribute to the qualification of a Level Two Diploma upon completion of a final assessment. With each module tailored to the apprentice’s level of ability, whether that be a beginner, to someone who has some experience already in fishmonger knife skills.
Extra support is also available for candidates to achieve their Level 1 and 2 Maths and English qualifications if they have not already done so.
Darren Leason, Business Director at Taylor Foods commented: “For many years we have struggled to recruit experienced filleters as the number of fish merchants on, or around, the North Shields fish quay where we would have previously seen many of our staff join from, have dwindled significantly.
“This decreasing pool of skilled labour has meant that we have looked to adopt a fresh approach and find three capable and interested members of our nightshift team to convert them into skilled filleters.
“We believe that by developing our talent, this will in turn have a positive impact on the ambitious growth plans we’ve set out as a business, as well as supporting and retaining our people.”
Neil Poxon, Operational Support Manager at Bidfresh said: “The North Shields depot is one of our prime locations. Being just a few miles away from the quay it allows us to supply local restaurants with fresh seafood catches on a daily basis.
“With the area being a haven for species such as monkfish, brill and turbot, as well as a hot spot for prawns, it’s the perfect location for the apprentices to put the skills they learn into action with a wide range of species.
“The scheme also allows us to serve the local community by providing opportunities to local people who are looking to learn a trade, and enhance the skills of our current employees, enabling us to continue to offer great seafood to our customers.”