The survey sought to gauge the level of qualifications of crew working in the Scottish fleet. It identified six groups of qualifications, which are:
- Basic safety training ( BST): also known as the certificate of competence which consists of four courses: 1) Sea Survival; 2) Fire Fighting and Prevention; 3) First Aid, and; 4) Health and Safety. BST is a minimum requirement for all crew working on a UK fishing vessel.
- Skipper certificates: qualifications required to skipper small commercial fishing vessels in inshore waters, which are: 1) Skippers <16.5m vessel up to 20nm, and; 2) Skipper <16.5m vessel up to 200nm. Qualifications to skipper large commercial fishing vessels are: 3) Skipper Class 2 - >16.5m vessels up to 150nm and; 4) Skipper Class 1 or full ticket - >16.5m unlimited.
- Engineer certificates: engineers have two grades - Class 1 and Class 2. Class 1 are chief engineers and required on vessels >30m in length and/or with engine power >750kw. Class 2 engineers are required on vessels >16.5m in length and as a second engineers on all vessels with engine power >750kw. An engineer is required on vessels >16.5m in length and a minimum of two engineers are required on vessels >30m.
- Mates certificates: two qualifications for seafarers in the Merchant Navy known as Mate Class 1 (master) and Mate Class 2 (chief). Transferable qualifications between merchant and fishing vessels.
- Other fishing certificates: certifications such as bridge watchkeeping, engineer room watchkeeping and radio operators certificates.
- Other marine sector qualifications: such as commercial diving, yacht masters and other offshore and merchant navy certificates not included elsewhere.
- Almost all of the crew in the 2015 survey (99.6%) gave information about their qualifications that are relevant for work in the fishing industry. This is compared to only 50% in the 2013 survey. In 2015, 32% of crews sampled had at least one certification higher than the mandatory Basic Safety Training ( BST) (Figure 18). The main certifications above BST are skipper (23%), engineer (6%) and mate qualifications (2%). The remaining 1% is 'other fishing' and 'other' qualifications.
Figure 18: Proportion of qualifications/certifications by type in the Scottish fishing industry among crew from sampled vessels (n = 750)
Figure 19: Proportion of qualifications above BST by nationality (n = 241)
Broken down by Scottish, rUK, EEA and non- EEA crews, over 96% of the qualifications discussed belonged to UK fishers ( Figure 19), due to the proportion of skippers certifications and skipper positions being held by Scottish/ rUK fishers. A high proportion (99%) of those who do not hold qualifications above the minimum BST are non- EEA nationals and at a slightly lower percentage (92%) for crew from the EEA . All EEA and non- EEA crews are required to take UK based training to work on a UK registered vessel and therefore may not have reported on other qualifications recognised overseas.
Figure 20: Proportion of different types of qualifications held for key roles (n = 232)
There are four different skippers qualifications and one group who did not specify their certificates. This latter group made up the highest proportion, followed by skippers holding Class 1 and <16.5m qualifications ( Figure 20). Of the two engineering qualifications, 81% held a Class 2 certificate and the remaining 19% held a Class 1. For mate qualifications, 75% of crews held a Class 1 certificate and the remaining 25% held a Class 2 certificate ( Figure 20).
Figure 21: Age profile of crew holding Skipper, Engineer and Mate/deckhand certifications (n = 216)
Skippers qualifications are present in all age groups, whilst engineering and mates certificates were absent from the <21 age group. A normal distribution for both skipper and engineer is illustrated in Figure 21.