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New seafood training group joins National Skills Academy
20 February 2007
[first published by Improve Ltd 20/2/2007]

With only a few weeks to go before the April opening of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing, a seventh major training organisation has joined the network of Academy Training Centres, to specialise in seafood processing.

The Seafood Training Academy is a new partnership between Seafish and four leading seafood training centres – at Billingsgate, Fleetwood, North Shields, and Leeds. The partnership aims to provide the highest standard of advice, information, and training for all onshore sectors of the seafood industry by collaborating on training and learning opportunities, sharing best practice, and achieving economies of scale.

Within the National Skills Academy, the partners in the Seafood Training Academy will also collaborate to support the fish processing sector with the Academy Training Centre at Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education, and on management and leadership training with the whole of the academy network.

Jack Matthews, chief executive of Improve, the food and drink sector skills council, which is providing the initial management resource for the academy, said: “The new Seafood Training Academy is a terrific initiative by some of the leaders in the field who are coming together to form a powerful partnership. Their aim is to keep pushing up standards, and that is exactly what the National Skills Academy is about.”

John Rutherford, chief executive of Seafish said: “Becoming part of the National Skills Academy will provide a great opportunity for our new academy to make its training programmes more widely available within the food industry as a whole. ”

The partners in the Seafood Training Academy are: the Sea Fish Industry Authority, Hull; Billingsgate Seafood Training School, London; Seafood Northwest Training Centre, Fleetwood; Seafood Training Centre, North Shields; the National Federation of Fish Friers’ Training School, Leeds.

The National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing aims to have up to 35 Academy Training Centres in place within three years. The status of Academy Training Centre can be earned by existing training organisations, both public and private, which are acknowledged as leaders in their field, and where pioneering research and development in training is constantly undertaken. They must be organisations in which the delivery of training is second to none.