SCOTLAND, UK - A ground-breaking new initiative to encourage youngsters to consider a career in commercial fishing is being launched in secondary schools in Aberdeenshire.

The pilot scheme led by the Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) aims to secure the future of Scottish fishing by encouraging a new generation of fishermen or women to go to sea. Fishing is worth around £430m to the Scottish economy and also supports a wide range of associated industries.

Under the initiative, school-leavers in Aberdeenshire will be offered the opportunity to undertake a three week introductory and safety course in fishing at the Scottish Maritime Academy (SMA) in Peterhead followed by a two-month work placement aboard a working fishing vessel.

Participants who enjoy the experience and decide that fishing is their career of choice, will then have the opportunity to enrol in a two year Modern Apprenticeship course leading to a qualified deckhand certification. On completion of this, those looking for further advancement can join defined career pathway training for navigation officer or marine engineering qualifications. Such qualifications are transferable and can be used for careers in other marine sectors.

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