Coronavirus (COVID-19): to find out how we can support you with your apprenticeship including if you have been affected by redundancy, read our updated information.

Sea Fisher Apprentice WATERDANCE LTD

We're pleased to announce South Devon College are launching their new Sea Fisher apprenticeship early this year. We’re currently recruiting for an apprentice to join the course who will have the opportunity to gain experience and training on a Waterdance vessel, with a view to becoming a member of our crew. In your role you will learn to sustainably harvest fish and shellfish and learn a range of fishing methods from static gears such as shellfish pots through to modern, selective, high-tech trawl equipment. You will be expected to work as part of a team, both onshore and at sea. In your daily work, you will interact with the skipper, boat owners and crew members and fisheries observers. They may include: Enforcement officers, Port and authorities, Scientists and Safety advisors. Onshore, you may have contact with logistics companies, harbor staff and fish market employees.

Sign in to apply

Closing date: 12 Feb 2023

Apprenticeship summary

  • Annual wage


    Wages explained

    Apprentices are paid for their normal working hours and training that's part of their apprenticeship (usually one day per week).

    Minimum Wage Rates

  • Working week

    Working Week: Day Hours: maximum of 12 (shift times to be decided upon appointment) Weekly Hours: Minimum of 30 maximum of 40

    Total hours per week: 40.0

  • Expected duration

    18 Months

  • Possible start date

    19 Feb 2023

  • Date posted

    24 Jan 2023

  • Apprenticeship level

    Level 2 (GCSE)

  • Reference number


  • Positions

    1 available

What will the apprentice be doing?


You will be involved in the entire end-to-end process:

  • Catch, process, store and land the fish (or shellfish).
  • Log details of the catch and report them to the skipper or boat owner. This may include the species caught along with estimates of size and weight.
  • Setting up the fishing gear and fit it to a boat and watch-keep on a navigational passage to and from fishing grounds.
  • Deploy and retrieve gear & use onboard hydraulics and powered machinery.
  • Collect data for policy makers. This data informs plans for fishing, catch limits and quotas to ensure stocks remain sustainable.
  • Adapt to seasonal changes and vary approach to catch different types of fish. Also adapting approaches in response to the sea, tides, and weather conditions.
  • Complying with maritime and safety Regulations.
  • Using and maintaining personal protective equipment.

This is a rewarding occupation. It involves working outdoors and can be physically demanding. You will initially work on a traineeship with South Devon College including sea survival, an ENG1 Medical before progressing to the Level 2 Fisher apprenticeship.

What training will the apprentice take and what qualification will the apprentice get at the end?

As part of the apprenticeship programme you are required to complete an initial traineeship, where you will attend college for 3 weeks, with 1 day a week to focus on Maths, English and ICT. The remaining 4 days a week will be subject specific learning, including a sea survival course and an ENG1 Medical to ensure you are fit to go to Sea. You will then spend a minimum of 70 hours over a 4 week period, on board the fishing vessel.

On progression to the 18 month Level 2 Apprenticeship, you will attend college on block delivery for a whole week, approximately every 6 weeks, where you will be supported to achieve the following 7 qualifications required as part of the apprenticeship as well as the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to become a Fisher.

Complete basic training approved by any Maritime Administration which is signatory to the Seafarers Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) convention.

1 day Seafish Fishermen’s basic sea survival or STCW Personal Survival Techniques

1 day Seafish Fishermen’s basic firefighting and prevention or 2 day STCW Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention

1 day Seafish Fishermen’s basic first aid or STCW Elementary First Aid (1 day)

1 day Seafish basic health and safety covering: know your vessel, understanding roles and responsibilities, maintaining effectiveness, working safely on a fishing vessel, dealing with emergencies.

Certificated 5 day Seafish Navigation and Watchkeeping course

Certificated 5 day Marine Coastguard Agency (MCA) Approved Engine Course Diesel Engine course

Certificated 1 day Seafish Stability Awareness for Experienced Fishermen course

Certificated 1 day Seafish Advanced Stability Awareness course

Certificated Royal Yacht Association VHF Short Range Certificate

What is the expected career progression after this apprenticeship?

Progression opportunities include: experienced deckhand mate, skipper of the boat, onboard marine engineer, onboard chef/ fisher on larger boats, fisheries science/ observer, gear technologist, offshore survey and energy worker. There are also opportunities to become self-employed and a boat owner

Requirements and prospects

Desired skills and personal qualities

Communication skills, Attention to detail, Organisation skills, Problem solving skills, Logical, Team working, Initiative, Physical fitness


GCSE or equivalent English (Grade 4/C) Desired
GCSE or equivalent Maths (Grade 4/C) Desired

Things to consider

This is a rewarding occupation. It involves working outdoors and can be physically demanding.

About the employer

Waterdance is a family-owned fishing company and is part of the Greendale Group. We have over 20 boats based in Devon and Cornwall including beam trawlers, netters, potters and scallopers. All of our boats use our own quota as much as possible and we trade quota domestically and internationally. Our boats land regularly at Brixham, Newlyn, Salcombe and Exmouth. These ports provide direct access to the western channel where clean deep waters and strong currents create the perfect environment for world class seafood. Sustainable fishing methods ensure that these stocks remain intact. Our catch regularly includes Sole, Plaice, Hake, Cuttlefish and Pollack as well as Whelks, Crabs and Lobsters. The majority of our fish is sold through local fish markets (such as Brixham and Plymouth), and our boats are also proud to directly supply the fishmonger at the Greendale Farm Shop. We aim to make a significant contribution to the local economy in Devon and Cornwall: our boats have over 120 full-time ocean-going skippers and crew, as well as an on-shore team (which helps to land, distribute and sell the seafood) and several administrative staff. In order to provide some context to that, a recent study conducted by Seafish concluded that for every full-time fisherman, another 2.25 full-time equivalent jobs are created in the local area. Our strategy is to invest locally, continually modernise our fleet, improve fish quality, and strive to get the best fish to our customers. We prioritise safety, compliance and sustainability. All of our boats are flagged to the UK, where the maritime safety standards are some of the highest in the world.








You must have JavaScript enabled to view a map of the location


Training provider



Tina Smee

Apprenticeship standard


Level 2 (GCSE)

Before you apply

Before you apply for an apprenticeship you must first create an account. If you already have an account you'll need to sign in.