John has welcomed the launch, on Friday 11 January 2013, of a new apprenticeship scheme for the fishing industry by the Scottish Government.
It has been created by the Maritime Skills Alliance and Skills for Logistics. Among others, Marine Scotland, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, Skills Development Scotland and Seafish have been involved in its development.
Each year, twenty young people from 16 to 24 will be offered the opportunity to enter the fishing industry. The scheme has received the name of Modern Apprenticeship in Sea Fishing.
The programme is meant to secure the future of the £500 million fishing industry, making it critical to Scotland’s economy and to coastal communities. Indeed, Scottish fishing will require a well-trained and skilled fleet in the years to come if it is to succeed.
It is hoped that the very dynamic industry will attract new entrants from across Scotland, adding to the crews traditionally coming from the fishing communities.
Commenting on the new scheme John said:
“This is very welcome news for a traditional and dynamic industry such as Scottish fishing industry. I support overall the Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks put in place by the Scottish Government. It is essential to develop and maintain a skilled workforce.
“I am also pleased at the announcement as I suspect it will represent a great opportunity for the Highlands and Islands communities, and especially the coastal communities. I hope it will foster the local economy and attract people in our area.
“An independent Scotland will need a strong economy and I am confident the fishing industry and the Highlands and Islands can be important tools in that prospect.”