scottish seafood recruitment drive

Richard Stephen, engineering manager from Thistle Seafoods

Scotland’s vibrant £1.6bn seafood industry has launched a campaign to help find the right candidates to fill numerous vacancies that are continuously coming up across the processing sector. 

Over 8,400 people in Scotland currently work in the seafood industry in a diverse range of roles spanning food processing and technology, HR, marketing, commercial and engineering. Seafish is collaborating with industry body the Scottish Seafood Association to show the wealth of opportunities available in the sector to help attract people looking to start, progress or change their career.

The ‘Sea A Bright Future’ campaign will run across print media, digital and radio. 

Jimmy Buchan, CEO of the Scottish Seafood Association, said: “The seafood processing sector is vibrant, unlike some other industries just now, and offers a diverse range of career options within both large and small companies.

“There are huge opportunities for people to go far in the seafood industry if they show the right ability, ambition and enthusiasm. This campaign seeks to shine a light on that and put a career in the sector into the hearts and minds of those looking for an exciting new challenge.

“With the coronavirus pandemic, people are evaluating not just what they do but where they do it and with seafood companies often located in attractive rural settings you get more living space – whether buying or renting – for your money.”

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There are many benefits associated with working in the sector, including flexible hours for those juggling carer and childcare responsibilities or those simply looking for a better work/life balance. The industry also offers career progression, equipping employees with the skills and knowledge to develop themselves and further their career. Vacancies span from entry to senior level, from opportunities on the factory floor, in the offices or in the laboratories.

scottish seafood recruitment drive

Carla Becci, engineering stores coordinator at Thistle Seafoods

Skills sets that are in great demand across the sector include engineering and food technologists, according to Scottish Seafood Association members Thistle Seafoods, Macduff Shellfish and International Fish Canners. 

Ryan Scatterty of Thistle Seafoods, comments:  “We are always on the lookout for good engineers to join us and there are many transferable skills from across the oil and gas industry, or those leaving the Armed Forces for example that we would hope to attract.  Similarly, food technologists are also in high demand and may be suitable for those in the hospitality sector looking for a new challenge.”

Richard Stephen has worked for Thistle Seafoods for over 20 years, starting as a factory operative and working his way into the engineering department, and ultimately to his current position as engineering manager. He explained: “I’d always been interested in mechanical work and fixing machines but I went straight into the workforce from school and didn’t have the opportunity to work in that area.

“But when I was working in the factory and the chance came up to move to the engineering team, I put my name in straight away and I haven’t looked back.”

It is not just the large operators like Thistle Seafoods that are looking to attract new candidates.  Islay Crab Exports is struggling to fill six roles in scallop processing on the island and is hopeful that the coronavirus pandemic may encourage people to move from the cities into both rural areas and onto the islands. 

Fiona McFarlane of Islay Crab Exports commented:  “Islay is such a wonderful and friendly island and offers a great quality of life.  Hopefully this pandemic may encourage people to think about where they live and take that leap into a fresh life and a new career.”

Source: Press Release

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