The Skills and Training Scheme will provide a one-off fund of up to £10 million to improve training in the seafood industry, including the catching, processing and aquaculture sectors. The funding is available to organisations who can provide training to people working in the UK seafood industry.

The scheme aims to:

  • attract new entrants and encourage people to stay in the industry
  • fill skills and training gaps in the existing workforce
  • improve employment opportunities in coastal communities
  • improve health, social and environmental outcomes for coastal communities

Funding will be used to:

  • provide new courses where there are skills gaps
  • improve existing courses

The Skills and Training Scheme is part of the UK Seafood Fund.

Bids should offer training for existing or new seafood industry workers, or both. Bids should focus either on offering new courses, or improving existing courses.

New courses

Training should provide new courses to fill gaps in the market, or supplement the content that’s already being offered, for example in fisheries management training or essential skills.

Fisheries management training could cover:

  • sustainability in the context of an increasing number of offshore wind and marine protected areas
  • environmental effects of fishing, and using science to understand fish stocks
  • taking opportunities to diversify into other maritime activities

Essential skills training could cover:

  • business and financial management, and IT
  • numeracy and literacy, adding to the government’s existing maths and English courses for adults
  • mandatory and non-mandatory health and safety courses

Improving existing courses

Alternatively, your bid for funding should show how you’ll improve the delivery or success of existing courses, for example by:

  • getting accreditation for courses
  • reaching more participants or widening the scope of the courses
  • aligning courses with emerging priorities, legislation or regulatory requirements
  • recruiting more staff to meet growing demand.
  • providing mentors to help more candidates complete and succeed in training

You must show how you’ll make your training courses accessible and widely known.

Find out how bids are assessed

You can

Attend an early market engagement event

Defra is hosting an online event on MS Teams from 10:00 to 12:00 on 19 January 2022.

This will tell you:

  • the scheme objectives
  • how the funding works
  • projects funded
  • the application process
  • funding timelines

When to apply for the Skills and Training Scheme

You can submit your bid in April 2022. Details of how to apply will be added to this page when available.

Your submission will be scored against the Skills and Training Scheme assessment criteria.

You’ll be told if your bid is successful in summer 2022.