Westport Deep Sea Fishing School — training people to succeed

Photo Credit. Westport Deep Sea Fishing School

The Westport Deep Sea Fishing School has been operating since 1988. It was established by Mickey and Doreen Ryan and for the past 21 years by the current owner Peter Maich, a former commercial fisherman with a passion for the seafood industry.

The school gives students comprehensive training based around working on deep sea and inshore fishing vessels. Programmes are based on industry created NZQA approved qualifications in seafood processing and vessel operations to create the skills needed by the seafood industry. The school delivers a range of Level 2 and Level 3 national certificates with students doing both practical and theory training ashore and experience on fishing vessels as a positive introduction to work and life at sea.

Photo Credit. Westport Deep Sea Fishing School

For over 20 years, theschool has been involved with the Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) programme, which is a six-week motivational training course run by the New Zealand Defence Force. It aims to increase the number of young people entering employment or training by improving their selfdiscipline, self-confidence, motivation and initiative.

The school recently won the Outstanding Employer Contribution to the LSV programme, presented at the Minister of Defence Awards for Excellence. The award recognises outstanding contribution to and promotion of the LSV programme by an employer or company who has demonstrated significant support through their time, actions and dedication.

Staff from the school attend all LSV employment days promoting their training opportunities. They regularly spend extra time with the trainees to ensure they understand the industry, often assisting with the development of an employment goal.

Once the trainees graduate from the LSV course, Westport Deep Sea Fishing School work closely with the Ministry of Social Development’s case managers to support them with the transition to starting the course and entering into sustainable employment. They link trainees to major companies within New Zealand and provide post course placement support to help new graduates transition to employment and to stay motivated.

The LSV course is one of many the school has been involved with over the years, seeing over 3000 students complete the courses since the start of the school. There are a number of options for scholarships and nofee programs offered by MSD, Tertiary Education Commission and Te Ohu Kai Moana.

Saying the school runs like a military training camp is a positive observation. They have strict rules around appearance, attendance, cleaning duties and a strict alcohol-free policy, which mirror those required at sea. Students stay onsite in the hostel accommodation with breakfast and evening meals provided in the weekly board amount. This approach bodes well for

students finding employment on fishing vessels where the confined space requires all onboard to work and live together for long periods.

The school is an integral part of the local Westport community and participates in many local events, with students assisting those in need after previous flooding events to aid in the clean-up.

For more information on the school and its programmes, go to their webpage at deepsea. co.nz or phone Peter Maich on (03) 7888 060 for a chat on your options to attend. Watch the LSV video on the schools Facebook page. Information for this article taken from LSV media release and the schools website.

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