A smoking hot future ahead for Swallow Fish!

Hot off the press.....

Seahouses fish business takes on an apprentice to keep tradition alive..

A fish curing firm in Seahouses, Northumberland, is set to expand by taking on a new starter in order to keep the tradition alive

A smokehouse in Seahouses has turned to Northumberland College to recruit an apprentice in the ancient process of smoking fish

One of the North Easts traditional skills will be saved for a new generation thanks to a new scheme.

Husband and wife team Patrick and Karen Wilkin, who run Swallow Fish in Seahouses, are on the lookout for an old-style apprentice who can learn the tricks of the trade.

The couple have asked Northumberland College to find a suitable candidate they can pass on their skills to.

They use traditional methods of manufacture, including the use of oak sawdust, used by many generations of Seahouses fish merchants.

The site, in use since 1843, has even been credited with inventing the modern kipper.

The companys expansion comes as The Journal continues its successful campaign to encourage local businesses to invest in young apprentices.

The recruitment of an apprentice will provide the opportunity for the business to reach new markets and expand.

Karen said: We thought an apprenticeship would be the ideal opportunity to get someone interested in this craft and learn all about the business, processes and techniques.

Our apprentice will gain an abundance of experience in all aspects of the business from unloading fish, lighting fires, smoking and curing to fulfilling mail order and retail sales.

It is a rare opportunity for someone to learn unique skills and develop a career in a niche market, while learning transferable skills that can be applied to other manufacturing roles.

The successful candidate will be involved in the whole production cycle and will learn hands-on skills in all aspects of the business.

The skill set includes unloading freshly caught fish and shellfish, splitting, lighting fires, smoking, curing and slicing, as well as the business aspects such as mail order, retail, wholesale and customer service.

On successful completion of the apprenticeship programme the candidate will be ready for employment working with fresh fish, shellfish and running the traditional smokehouses.

Karen added: One of our contacts suggested that we considered an apprentice to fulfil the role so we turned to Northumberland College.

They have been really enthusiastic and are dedicated to satisfying our training needs.

Linda Weddell, business development officer at Northumberland College, explained why small businesses in the food sector in Northumberland like Swallow Fish are ideal candidates for employing apprentices.

She said: An apprentice in Performing Manufacturing Operations could be the ideal solution for businesses who wish to increase their workforce and productivity.

Northumberland has a host of small food, drink and craft producers, which could benefit from the skills and knowledge an apprentice can bring to the role.

Businesses with apprentices agree they make their workforce more productive.

Northumberland College work with other production companies throughout the region including the Tyne Bank Brewery and Doddington Dairy offering Apprenticeships and bespoke training to meet their business needs.

The college offers apprenticeships in over 40 different subjects and works with over 700 employers across the region.

we offer a wide selection of locally caught shellfish, fresh fish and, of course, swallows' own superb smoked salmon and kippers