M&J Seafood launches specialist courses
The UK’s largest independent seafood supplier launches accredited training courses
03 April 2014
The UK’s largest independent seafood supplier, M&J Seafood, isn’t resting on its laurels. With the aim of growing even bigger, ensuring staff retention and maintaining excellent quality and service standards, the organisation has launched three City & Guilds-accredited training courses for its staff.
‘We want to show our staff that we are committed to raising standards within the company, that we’re encouraging learning and development,’ says Mike Berthet, Director of Fish and Seafood at M&J Seafood.
M&J supplies a huge amount of live, fresh, frozen and chilled fish and seafood to around 12,000 chefs in the UK, from hotels and restaurants – including Marriott and Yo! Sushi – to schools and private hospitals nationwide.
‘The key to our success is that we have more than 600 really passionate people in our business. Our cutters are award-winners, our telesales team are fantastic – it’s the diligence of all our staff who have a real passion to remain leaders in the industry,’ Mike says.
The new City & Guilds-accredited courses are available to fishmongers, telesales operatives and field salespeople who have been working at M&J Seafood for more than a couple of months. So far, 200 staff members have completed the training.
‘It’s producing some fantastic results already,’ says Mike. ‘Our staff are achieving a better professional standard both for the company and for their own career, and our customers are more aware of the skill level and expertise that means we can deliver exceptional service.’
A Telesales Fish and Seafood Masterclass, a three and four-star Field Sales Fish and Seafood Masterclass and a Fishmongers Masterclass make up the City & Guilds training programmes that aim to equip staff with industry-recognised work-based training.
‘Since January we’ve been going up and down the country doing these courses and City & Guilds is very impressed with the quality of the training,’ says Mike. ‘Our staff are very impressed that we have taken notice of their request for training and done a proper job of providing it.’
Jeremy Collar, a fish buyer who has worked at M&J Seafood for nine years, says the training he completed just three weeks ago has already benefited his team.
‘The fish business as a whole is mostly experience-based; it’s quite an old-fashioned style of business, but something like this gives everyone a chance to retrain and reskill,’ says Jeremy.
Some of the fishmongers at M&J have been with the company for 15 years and have not sat an exam since leaving school. ‘It was a bit of a leap into the unknown for all of us,’ Jeremy admits, ‘but it was really hands-on and made us all sit up and think again about the industry we’re in. The competitive side of the lads really came out during the practical exams and there were some cracking results.’