Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Liz O'Toole from Bord Iascaigh Mhara to give some advice for people considering this job:

Liz O'Toole

Skipper

Bord Iascaigh Mhara

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Liz O'Toole
Talk to people currently in the job. Get a few days work experience. Check out the courses (through BIM)
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National Fisheries College of Ireland
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National Fisheries College of Ireland

Further Education

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About Us

The National Fisheries College operates in two main locations, Greencastle, Co. Donegal, and Castletownbere, Co. Cork.

National Fisheries College of Ireland, Greencastle, Co. Donegal.
Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s National Fisheries College of Ireland, Greencastle, Co. Donegal is located on the Inishowen peninsula, approximately 32Km from Derry City.

The college offers a range of training courses in the catching, engineering and safety sectors which are accredited by Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI) (formerly FETAC) and the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport. The qualifications are therefore both nationally and internationally recognised.

Entry to BIM’s training courses is direct to the college, as BIM is not part of the CAO system. Therefore, there are no points required, however, for some of the courses, there are specific subject requirements. Candidates are chosen for the course places by interview.

The college offers a QQI Certificate in Commercial Fishing (Level 5) which aims to give new entrants and existing practitioners comprehensive training in fishing vessel operations, boat handling, net mending, basic engineering and safety at sea skills, in order to prepare the participants for work as a crew member on fishing vessels. This course commences in September each year.

Individuals who have chosen a career in fisheries and have a minimum of two years sea service can progress to command positions through the acquisition of Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport accredited Deck Officer Certificates of Competency. These highly practical courses teach a range of navigation and safety skills to those whose ambition is to become a skipper or mate of a commercial fishing vessel. These courses are run several times a year at the college.

Marine engineering skills training is provided for new entrants and experienced engineers alike and includes practical work experience in real seagoing conditions, to prepare course participants for eventual employment as an Engineer Officer on board a fishing vessel. New entrants commence at Class Three and with additional study and sea service, they can progress eventually to Engineer Officer Certificate of Competency Class One. These courses commence in September each year.

BIM also offer a range of safety and radio courses at the college, including a 3- day safety training, 1-day Enhanced Safety Training and Radio Certificates of Competency. These courses are run on a regular basis. The college boasts an elevated working trawler deck, state-of-the-art computerised simulation equipment, net loft, engine room, workshops and a training vessel, the MFV “Lough Swilly”, library and a student common room.

National Fisheries College of Ireland, Castletownbere, Co. Cork.
Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s National Fisheries College of Ireland, Castletownbere, Co. Cork is located on the Beara peninsula, approximately 50Km from Bantry.

The college offers a range of training courses in the catching, engineering and safety sectors which are accredited by Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI) (formerly FETAC) and the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport. The qualifications are therefore both nationally and internationally recognised.

Entry to BIM’s training courses is direct to the college, as BIM is not part of the CAO system. Therefore, there are no points required, however, for some of the courses, there are specific subject requirements. Candidates are chosen for the course places by interview.

The college offers a number of aquaculture courses which range from a basic introductory module aimed at giving new entrants a foundation in fish farming methods to a QQI Level 5 Certificate in Aquaculture. This QQI Level 5 Certificate in Aquaculture course commences in February each year. A programme in Seaweed On-growing which is also accredited by QQI is available to learners.

The college delivers a QQI Level 5 Marine Engineering Processes programme. This course aims to provide participants with a basic understanding of the operation of marine diesel engines and associated machinery on small vessels. This course is run on a regular basis.

Individuals who have chosen a career in fisheries and have a minimum of two years sea service can progress to command positions through the acquisition of Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport accredited Deck Officer Certificates of Competency. These highly practical courses teach a range of navigation and safety skills to those who ambition is to become a skipper or mate of a commercial fishing vessel. These courses are run several times a year at the college.

BIM also offer a range of safety and radio courses at the college, including a 3- day safety training, 1-day Enhanced Safety Training and Radio Certificates of Competency. These courses are run on a regular basis.

The college boasts a net mending and construction loft, engineering workshop, a radio communication room, aquaculture work boats and RIBs (rigid inflatable boats).
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