WALES, UK - A series of specialist seafood skills workshops, the first of their kind in Wales, are running across the country this month. The one-day workshops are aimed at fishermen, processors and fishmongers who want to upskill and learn how to add value to their product.
Developed specifically for the Welsh onshore seafood industry, the workshops cover fish filleting and seafood smoking skills.
Held from 9 to 18 February in both North and South Wales, these workshops are being hosted by the Food Centre Wales in Horeb, the Food Technology Centre in Llangefni and Milford Fish Docks.
Many of these one-day courses are new to the sector, including the bespoke seafood smoking course which has never been delivered in Wales before.
The workshops are being delivered by the Seafood Training Network Wales with support and funding from the Food and Drink Wales Welsh Seafood Cluster, Seafish and the Seafood Training Academy.
Dr Holly Whiteley, Seafish project manager for Wales said: “We’re thrilled to be able to collaborate with the Welsh Seafood Cluster to offer bespoke training opportunities like this. The workshops are a key element of the Seafood Training Network Wales’ wider approach to supporting the development of the onshore seafood sector in Wales.”
Caroline Dawson, Welsh Seafood Cluster manager said “The aim of the workshops is to get like minded seafood businesses in one room, learning new skills and networking. Workshops like these encourage peer to peer knowledge exchange and the development of new ideas – which is exactly the aim of the Welsh Seafood Cluster.”
The workshops stimulated huge interest, with many courses fully booked within a few days. Demand in South Wales has been so high that an additional one-day fish filleting workshop has been organised, and long-term plans for an additional seafood smoking course are also underway.
Lee Cooper, managing partner for the Seafood Training Academy said “One of the key aims of the Seafood Training Network Wales is to assist the Welsh onshore sector by helping fish and shellfish businesses benefit from training opportunities – what’s clear from the popularity of these courses is how important this objective is to the industry.”
Feedback from the workshops has been very positive. Jonathan Williams, Founder of The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company said “The smoking course held at Food Centre Wales in Horeb was fantastic. Both instructors were very knowledgeable and it has given me the confidence to develop smoking techniques as part of our hot food offer”.
In light of the success of these workshops, the Seafood Training Network Wales plans to develop a programme of on-going workshops and training courses to further support the sector. These will include fish and shellfish apprenticeship workshops for employers, more filleting and smoking courses, quality assessment training and courses for the fish frying sector. Workshops on topics such as seafood labelling and traceability are also planned.
TheFishSite News Desk