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Education leader sees Suffolk college at the centre of revitalizing Lowestoft’s economy

PUBLISHED: 16:50 07 October 2020 | UPDATED: 18:07 07 October 2020

The Lowestoft Drifter Dauntless Star discharging her 156-cran catch in November 1962, on a day when more than 1000 cran of herring were landed. PHOTO: EADT

The Lowestoft Drifter Dauntless Star discharging her 156-cran catch in November 1962, on a day when more than 1000 cran of herring were landed. PHOTO: EADT

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An education leader believes that a local college can pave the way to help revitalize Lowestoft’s post-Brexit fishing economy.

Rachel Bunn, assistant principal of East Coast College, says a fishing apprenticeship is being worked on. PHOTO: East Coast CollegeRachel Bunn, assistant principal of East Coast College, says a fishing apprenticeship is being worked on. PHOTO: East Coast College

Rachel Bunn, assistant principal at East Coast College, believes that with the right training available for students there is the potential to create hundreds of jobs within the fishing industry across Lowestoft.

While the fishing industry has declined since it’s peak in the town between 1870 and 1918, Miss Bunn believes an apprenticeship scheme could boost the town’s post-Brexit fishing economy.

She said: “Coastal communities like Lowestoft are aware of a decline in the fishing indsutry, which is why we are working with the sector to create future jobs.

“At the moment there is a lack of career advice surrounding fishing which needs to change and we are currently working on creating a fishing apprenticeship here at East Coast College and focussing our attention on STEM subjects in schools.

June Mummery discussed how coastal communities like Lowestoft would be left behind if the fishing industry is not revitalised. PHOTO: Brexit UnlockedJune Mummery discussed how coastal communities like Lowestoft would be left behind if the fishing industry is not revitalised. PHOTO: Brexit Unlocked

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“We have energy training, marine teaching and a ships bridge simulation all here already at the college. In this day and age it is about teaching students transferability as fishing in itself is something that is moving on with the times. East Coast College aims to meet these current and future needs.”

Supporters of the fishing industry have argued that 300 jobs could be created in Lowestoft once a fishing agreement is reached with the EU.

The UK government have now signed a historic fisheries agreement with Norway - the first in 40 years. The government has also offered the EU a three-year transition period for European fishing fleets to allow them to prepare for any post-Brexit changes. June Mummery, former Brexit MEP and managing director of BFP Eastern Ltd, a fish market auctioneers in Lowestoft, believes last minute concessions granted to EU fishing fleets could mean coastal towns like Lowestoft are left behind.

She said: “The three year period for European fishing fleets that the Government is proposing will kill off the fishing industry.

“It will further devastate coastal communities like Lowestoft because the oil and gas industry is finished and windfarms don’t create many jobs.

“The Government really need to consider revitalising the fishing industry to ensure that future jobs are created for coastal towns like Lowestoft.”


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