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SPONSORED: There’s plenty of jobs in the sea

Stuart Taylor
Stuart Taylor

There is a huge variety of roles available across the seafood industry to suit different skill types and interests, which is why it could be your ideal career move.

Seafish and the Scottish Seafood Association (SSA) has launched their ‘Sea A Bright Future’ campaign to show jobseekers that the industry has more to offer than you might think.

Move into the future

Imogen McCann

For Imogen McCann, 27, a university degree in BSc Food Design and Nutrition opened her eyes to food product development – and seafood offered a step onto this exciting career path.

In 2018 she started working as a New Product Development (NPD) Technologist for International Fish Canners/Nor-Sea Foods, developing new and existing products for UK and international retailers.

Imogen says: “It could be developing products to make them healthier, like reducing salt, or changing the ingredients to make them more cost effective, or maybe creating new recipes to keep up with competitors.”

Launching a new food product involves a lot of work across different departments, but Imogen is enjoying the variety: “No two days are the same, and you never know what you could be working on in the next week or the next few months. Another favourite part of the job is seeing a product go from the initial development stages right through to full scale factory launch.”

She moved from her home of Ireland to the north-east of Scotland for her job, staying in a company flat after first arriving – and it’s all worked out for the best. Imogen says: “I feel very lucky here, as everything’s close by and I live a five minute walk from the beach. My family love coming over to visit.”

Gaining new skills

For those already into their chosen career paths, the seafood industry also offers the chance to diversify skills. For Stuart Taylor, 38, a job as an IT Support Analyst for Thistle Seafoods did exactly that.

He’s worked in IT in the British Army and in a healthcare environment in the UAE, but nearly two years ago moved home to Aberdeenshire with his family.

Stuart had limited knowledge of the seafood industry before seeing and applying to his current role, but that wasn’t an issue.

“When I first started, you get a guided tour around the factory so you get an idea of the business and how your role fits into the business. You get the background knowledge of the whole product journey; from the start of production all the way through to how it gets dispatched,” explains Stuart.

Everyone has an important role to play in getting products to the shelf – for Stuart, that’s supporting business staff in daily IT issues – and understanding the production process is essential. It allows Stuart to help the business benefit by using better collaboration tools and utilising online communication methods to communicate with suppliers and customers.

And ultimately, it means Stuart has a diverse job – something he enjoys! He explains: “It’s totally different to a hospital or military environment but in the same breath it has a process and structure, and it’s just learning about that and identifying areas where technology can help to improve those processes, to make them as streamlined and seamless as possible.”

Lots of opportunities

There are vacancies in the seafood industry in a diverse range of roles spanning food processing and technology, HR, marketing, commercial and engineering.

SSA CEO Jimmy Buchan said: “There are positions and opportunities for all skills and levels of experience, it’s not too narrow a skillset that’s required and previous experience isn’t always needed.

“If you come in with ambition and a good attitude, there’s nothing to stop you.”

So if you are looking for a new job in an industry that offers good pay, great opportunities and beautiful locations, visit the Sea A Bright Future website to find out more.