Six-month training of the FTP will be delayed due to COVID-19

19 June 2020
Six-month training of the FTP will be delayed due to COVID-19

After much consideration, the Fisheries Training Programme has decided to delay the beginning of its 6-month course until January 2021 due to COVID-19.

This is not a decision we take lightly. We collected information about international travel restrictions in our partner countries and the visa application process with so many embassies closed due to the pandemic. We also sent a survey to the incoming cohort of FTP fellows to get a sense of their views of a potential delay of the programme, and any concerns they may have about international travel, or being away from home for an extended period. Feedback from the fellows was extremely helpful. In the end, nearly 70% of incoming fellows told us that they would prefer to delay the 6-month course. All this information taken together painted a clear picture; there was essentially no path forward for us to proceed with the normal course start time this autumn while upholding the standards of our programme.

Disruptions like these are uncomfortable but can bring new opportunity. Our ambition is to run two 6-month courses next year, which we have never done before. Our plan is for the first course to begin in January 2021 and run through June, and the second will start in the autumn of 2021 and will run on our regular schedule, until the spring of 2022. All fellows who were invited to apply this year will be asked again to apply for the next intake.

We are aware of the potential that there will be a “second wave” of COVID-19 infections in the autumn, which could impact our plans to hold a course in January. Given the unpredictable nature of international travel restrictions in these times, we will re-evaluate this in October and make a final decision about running the course in January at that time.

We at the FTP extend warm thanks to our partners and incoming fellows for their patience in these uncertain times.