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Seafood Industry Casts its Net for Young Workers

Sustainability Economics People +5 more

UK - Seafish has launched a new campaign designed to showcase career prospects in the seafood industry. The World is Your Oyster features real people sharing their career stories and it is hoped it will capture the imagination of 16 to 24 year old's currently trying to secure their first step on the career ladder.

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According to Seafish, the industry authority on seafood, young people could be attracted in to the industry by highlighting some of the unique perks and qualifications linked to these careers such as the potential to travel the world promoting seafood or learning survival skills whilst working on a fishing vessel.

With an aging workforce, the seafood industry is looking to reinvigorate the talent pool by providing a more holistic picture of all that the sector has to offer young people looking to get in to a rewarding career path. Seafish also highlight the seafood industry’s competitive wages, the variety of roles, apprenticeship and training options where people can ‘learn as you earn’ and quick career progression.

Through engaging case studies and a film, the stories of several vibrant and aspirational young people, forging successful careers in the seafood industry have been brought to life on the Seafish website.

Leading ambassadors of the campaign include:

  • 18 year old North Devon fisherman, Ben Bengey, who was once the youngest skipper in the country;
  • Emma Moffat, a fish buyer for Icelandic Seachill in Lincolnshire;
  • husband and wife team, James and Bonny Ritchie who run award-winning Simpson’s Fish and Chips in Cheltenham;
  • Bedford fishmonger George Hooper, 19, the youngest ever winner of the National Federation of Fishmongers British Fishcraft competition.

As well as promoting the campaign through schools, career advisors and recruitment consultants, Seafish is also encouraging industry ambassadors to share their own career highlights on Twitter.

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.

“We are calling on members of the seafood industry to back our campaign and get involved on social media. Let’s work together to let young people know they will be warmly welcomed into our industry.”

Emma Moffat, 28, is a Fish Buyer for Grimsby based seafood supplier Icelandic Seachill who employ 1400 staff in the UK, providing chilled fish to the UK retail market.

She has highlighted the many benefits of working in the seafood industry, and would encourage others to consider a career in the industry.

Emma said: “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.

“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.”

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.