Scotland’s seafood industry has launched a recruitment drive to fill vacancies in the processing sector. The campaign, with the slogan “Sea A Bright Future”, will run across print media, digital and radio.
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. In recent years a significant proportion of the UK’s food processing workforce is made up of European nationals, but both the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit have now restricted the available pool of talent from the European Union.
More than 8,400 people in Scotland currently work in the seafood industry, which is worth £1.6bn. There are currently vacancies from entry to senior level, on the factory floor, in offices or in laboratories. Skill sets that are in particular demand across the sector include engineering and food technologists.
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, Engineering Manager with Thistle Seafoods, said: “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.”
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.”