Fri, Mar 22, 2024 5:00 AM

Free training to enter NZ’s fishing industry


Eloise Martyn

There is still money to be made, and sustainable employment, working in the New Zealand fishing industry, says Peter Maich, owner-operator at Westport Deep Sea Fishing School.

After 20 years commercially fishing in various roles, including inshore crayfish fishing in Fiordland, trawling for Hoki, squid, and mackerel as well as long line vessels targeting Ling; and often wearing the skipper’s hat, Peter Maich felt it was time for a change, so in 2000 he took over as the owner-operator at Westport Deep Sea Fishing School and has never looked back.

“I have a real passion for the New Zealand fishing industry; however I had a real desire to have a go at doing something for myself,” Peter says in response to why he hung up his skipper’s hat and stepped into the fishing school.

The fishing school is a gateway to pre-employment for those wanting to get into the industry and a career pathway for those already in the industry to upskill and keep up to date with the required certificates and licenses.

“People coming out of our programs have the tools to succeed and realistic views of the fishing industry,” Peter explains.

A residential program especially designed to suit the development of skills and attitudes required by the fishing industry, mixed with both practical and theory training ashore and experience on fishing vessels is a good introduction to what work and life at sea is really like.

“The pre-employment programs are free, we don’t want finance to be a barrier that stops people getting into the industry, but you do need a good attitude and a genuine desire to work,” Peter says.

Peter says that there is good money to be made in the industry and sustainable employment for those who are willing to work.

“A new entrant’s starting wage is around $50,000.00 with several months off on full pay and it just goes up from there,” Peter explains.

“If you were a pre-children couple within 5 years you could easily have a decent house deposit and set yourself up.

“It’s great to be able to offer opportunities within training and connect people I enjoy working with the team we have here at the fishing school, who like me are all passionate about the industry,” Peter says.

The fishing school sees more than 80 per cent of its students placed into full-time employment in any given year and several thousand have entered the industry over the 31 years the school has been operating.

“Students come here and leave with qualifications and industry knowledge which adds to stability within the industry,” Peter says.

The school takes students nationwide, or as Peter says anywhere from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

If you are interested in free training and support to enter an industry with long-term stable employment opportunities, then you should check out Westport’s Deep Sea Fishing School.

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