Seafood industry aims to net more workers for processing roles

Scotland’s £1.6 billion seafood industry has launched a campaign to reel in suitable workers to fill constant demand across the processing sector.

Carla Becci, engineering stores co-ordinator at Thistle Seafoods - which says it is always on the lookout for good engineers. Picture: contributed.
Carla Becci, engineering stores co-ordinator at Thistle Seafoods - which says it is always on the lookout for good engineers. Picture: contributed.

Public body Seafish is collaborating with industry body the Scottish Seafood Association on the Sea A Bright Future campaign to show the "wealth” of opportunities available in the sector to help attract people looking to start, progress or change their career.

The organisations noted that more than 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.

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Jimmy Buchan, chief executive 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.”

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Skillsets 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 said: “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.”

Additionally, Islay Crab Exports says it 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 cities.

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