Recognised in October with the Marine Stewardship Council Award for Fresh Fish Foodservice Supplier of the Year, Direct Seafoods 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 bespoke fishmonger apprenticeship scheme aims to further enhance the skills and knowledge of wholesale fishmongers to take their career development to the next level – so far taking on several apprentices across three of its UK sites.

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 an 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.

Neil Poxon, Operational Support Manager at Bidfresh commented: “I’m delighted that Direct Seafoods is utilising this great initiative. It’s something I’m thrilled to be able to offer our current and future employees and am incredibly passionate in seeing it succeed.

“This fresh approach to recruitment will help us not only in achieving our ambitious growth plans but also providing sustainable, progressive careers for those involved in the scheme moving forward, helping us to retain and develop the fantastic talent we have within our business.

“The skills and knowledge gained will help them to develop and progress as well as being directly linked to the operations of our business, allowing them to enhance the current excellent service we offer to customers.”

Lindsay Bennett, who is currently enrolled on the apprenticeship added: “The training we have received so far has been extremely beneficial. Having a trainer go through the course in person rather than online has made it much easier to take things in and has improved my confidence enormously.

“The course is also giving me the opportunity to obtain my Maths and English L1 qualifications which, along with the skills I’m acquiring, will be extremely valuable throughout my career.”

“This scheme has made me excited about the future and I hope that soon it’ll be me teaching the next wave of apprentices!”

There are currently five students, across three Direct Seafoods sites, enrolled on the course, ranging in age, location and gender.