To my new followers on LinkedIn please let me introduce myself.
My name is Emma Mckeating, and I have been working in retail for 14 years this year. I have held quite a few different positions within the company, before being given the opportunity to be trained and subsequently love the career path which I find myself on.
In June 2014, I was selected for Gold Fishmonger Training in Wales. It consisted of a 3 day course which served as the starting blocks of becoming a trained fishmonger. It is fair to say that the course changed my life. I am not the most confident of people and I had no idea why they would want to send me, but after the first day of training, I knew I didn’t want to be anything else other than a fishmonger.
Back at my store I had until December to complete a portfolio of work covering all aspects of the industry, from filleting and quality, to customer service and predicted sales. Then in December, an outside invigilator came to my store not only to mark my portfolio, but to conduct a practical assessment. I carried out dressing crab and lobster, to filleting Whole Salmon and skinning Whole Plaice and every other species in between!
I was incredibly proud of the mark I received for my portfolio, which had the result of 97%! And combining the marks from my portfolio and practical assessment, on 1st December 2014 I became a Gold Merit Trained Fishmonger.
I do not see my sign off as the end. On the contrary, every aspect of the fishing industry presents another avenue of learning, to gain more knowledge and experience.
I went from an unconfident retail fish seller to a fully trained merit fishmonger in a little over a year and a half. Then in less than 10 months after being signed off from my training, I was competing in The National Fish Craft Championships in Cleethorpes, and in March of this year, I was asked to go and work for an independent fishmonger in Leeds.
This year I am very much looking forward to taking part in The National Fish Craft Championships in August as an independent competitor, and also volunteering for “FishStock”, a fish and food festival down in Brixham, Devon in September.
I’m never quite sure where my fishmonger skills will take me next, but I will always remain passionate and never stop learning about our British Industry and Heritage.
The following blogs will highlight many of the aspects which are important to me as a fishmonger and also have an effect on my customers.