Seafood Industry Casts its Net for Young Workers

A new campaign has been launched with the aim of showcasing the career prospects within the seafood industry to students and graduates. ‘The World is Your Oyster’
campaign features people working in the industry sharing their experiences and highlights the unique perks and qualifications linked to these careers, including the competitive wages, potential to travel the world, learning key life skills and being your own boss.

Seafish, the industry authority on Seafood and the people behind the new campaign, also highlight the variety of roles in the seafood industry from deckhand to skipper, fishmonger to PR executive, fish buyer to marine biologist and many more.

seafoodEmma Moffat, 28, is a fish buyer for Grimsby based seafood supplier Icelandic Seachill who employ 1,400 staff in the UK, providing chilled fish to the UK retail market.

She encourages other young people to consider a career in the seafood industry, saying: “In my role I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Iceland, Holland and Brussels, along with numerous trips to Aberdeen and Peterhead.

“In the coming year, I’m hoping to spend time in Norway and Canada to gain an increased knowledge of fish sourcing on a more global scale.”

 As it is a specialist industry the wages are typically generous, meaning you could be earning over £30,000 per year at the age of 25.

Emma added: “I receive a salary which I think is above average for someone of my age, and I know that the long hours I work are appreciated and recognised. I feel very fortunate to work for my current company as they have given me access to excellent training opportunities to help further my career.”

Natalie Bell, trade marketing manager at Seafood Scotland – a non-political organisation that works throughout the supply chain with fishermen, processors, food service companies, consumers and everyone in-between – also travels regularly in her role.

She said: “There is a global appetite for Scottish seafood and my role is to help create opportunities for Scottish suppliers to supply into global markets. I travel the world, assessing demand and meeting with local chefs, supermarkets and food distributors, to encourage them to use Scottish seafood.

“In the past few months I’ve been to Paris to visit “Rungis”, the world’s largest wholesale market, Dubai to attend Seafex, a seafood exhibition and have upcoming trips planned to Brussels, Singapore and Japan.

“In my role, I raise awareness of, and promote the Scottish seafood industry in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. This involves working internationally which really is one of the highlights of my job, I never thought I’d get to travel the world and be paid for it.”

Natalie noted that whilst there are no ‘essential’ qualifications required to embark on a career like hers in marketing, further education in a related field is always useful. She added: “To be successful, you need to have excellent communication skills – written and spoken, strong organisational skills with the ability to multi-task, as well as being flexible – no two days are ever the same.”

seafoodDue to the ageing workforce in the seafood industry, Seafish are currently looking to reinvigorate the talent pool and are promoting the campaign through schools, career advisors and recruitment consultants. Simon Potten, Head of Safety and Training at Seafish, said: “The seafood industry is a vibrant place to be right now with more choice of diverse and interesting careers than ever before.

“I believe young people will be drawn by the competitive salaries on offer, the interesting, diverse and challenging range of work to be found, the strong sense of community within the industry and the opportunity to travel. Seafood is a global industry and whether you are leaving school, college or university, I urge you to take a look and see what the seafood industry has to offer.”

As well as launching the new campaign, Seafish is working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to develop new Trailblazer Apprenticeships for the seafood industry. Visit www.seafish.org to find out more about the organisation and employment opportunities in the seafood industry.  

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