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Skills courses will help secure future of Cornish fishing industry

Paul Neve from the Billingsgate Seafood Training School teaching the art of fish filletingDeveloping new skills in Cornwall's fishing industry took a leap forward as a new programme of £70,000 of training courses started, with thanks to investment from the Objective One European Social Fund (ESF).

The Pyskessa Kernow project this week helped to fund 11 fishermen to take essential radio courses which will equip them with new skills as well as to get their licence. This is the first course on the Pyskessa Kernow training programme which will train up to 250 fishermen and fish industry workers in Cornwall by March 2008.

The Pyskessa Kernow project will bring about a sea change in the training and skills development for the fishing industry as it focuses on the exact needs of the industry in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and coordinates trainers to meet those needs. The training funds will be used to help finance courses which all sectors in the fishing industry need, including: radio courses, skippers, mates and engineers tickets, forklift driving, food hygiene, net mending, fish filleting and risk assessment.

Paul Trebilcock, chief executive of the CFPO stated: "The industry in Cornwall has struggled for many years to get the training it demands with many courses being held outside of Cornwall and others absent all together. But now CFPO is putting its money and efforts behind providing courses locally so that fishermen can get courses on the quayside in England's biggest fishing port."

Sarah Henshall organises courses and coordinates trainers and tutors from the CFRC. She stated: "All parts of the industry are taking advantage of the new funds and courses. With investment in new machinery on shore and new fishing gears and electronics off shore it's essential that we focus on training in new skills as the fish industry has never been more complex or demanding."

Fish industry specific skills such as net mending and fish filleting have been identified by the Cornwall Fisheries Resource Centre's recent training study as 'essential' and work has focussed in this area. "I am working with fishermen and net manufacturers to write a syllabus and design a net mending course. At the same time several fish processors have signed up to the training programme to get their most experienced fish filleters trained as instructors to deliver the Seafish Fish Filleting course in the county."

Seafish, the national training body for the seafood industry has welcomed the initiative to deliver much-needed skills courses, flexibly, where they are most needed. "This is a great initiative and Seafish commend any projects that facilitate the delivery of training to the seafood sector," said Simon Potten, training manager at Seafish.

The Cornwall Fisheries Resource Centre is ideally situated in Newlyn to set up and arrange courses to suit the catching sector and has links through SW Pesca and Seafood Cornwall to fishermen's groups and the processing industry throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. If you have any interest in the courses or new skills then please get in touch with CFRC on 01736 364324.

Pyskessa Kernow Project is managed by SW Pesca Ltd and has received investment from the Objective One European Social Fund (ESF), Cornwall County Council and the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation.

For further information contact Clare Leverton of South West Pesca on 01872 270333 or email

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Pyskessa Kernow project through the European Social Fund (ESF).


Editor's notes:

Pyskessa Kernow is Cornish language for Cornish Fishing.

The Pyskessa Kernow project includes the coordination of a programme of subsidised training courses aiming to develop and raise new skills in the fish industry throughout Cornwall.

The other part of the project is to develop links with schools and colleges to raise the profile of the fish sector as a career or employment option. This involves designing new education materials for schools and encouraging visits and learning involving members of the fishing industry.

The total cost of the project is around £120,000 including an estimated £6,500 worth of time and effort from members of the fish industry, around £46,000 from fish industry businesses plus contributions from Cornwall County Council and Cornish Fish Producers Organisation.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is providing investment of approximately £40,000 towards the total project costs. This is from the ESF funds managed by Government Office for the South West in Plymouth.


Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

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