Flexibility, progression, opportunities– there are lots of reasons why a job in the Scottish seafood industry is a great catch.
As time goes on, we all grow and evolve. Finding a job that’s flexible enough to change with you, in an industry that has space to accommodate everyone, is key for enjoying a long and happy career.
That’s why the seafood industry is the place to look for a new job.
As well as diverse roles in everything from food product development and processing, to IT, engineering and marketing, you’ll find a range of shift patterns and working hours to suit various lifestyles.
Wherever you are in your working and personal life, there’s an opportunity to suit in the seafood industry.
Balancing motherhood and work
Pilar Gray, who recently turned 40, originally studied for a Veterinary degree and a Masters in Food Safety in Barcelona, Spain. She first moved to Ireland to improve her English, before making another move to Scotland to take advantage of more career opportunities in the food industry.
Now Pilar is a shift manager for International Fish Canners, a role she’s held for about three years –but she’s worked for the group of companies it belongs to for seven and a half years in total.
To begin with she started as a quality control technician and then, as her English improved, she was promoted to QC supervisor.
Pilar explains: “After a few years I realised I really liked the food industry but maybe I’m better in production, for my skills, so I applied for the shift manager position and got it.”
She’s discovered that the seafood industry offers lots of options for career progression, for those with qualifications like Pilar and for those without.
And that there’s plenty of flexibility to find a job that continues to adapt with you over the years.
When Pilar became a mum to 11 month old son Alasdair, her employer was very accommodating. While she used to work Monday to Friday day shifts, since returning from maternity leave in January, she’s been able to balance childcare by working evenings and weekends instead.
This “takes the pressure off” says Pilar: “Eventually I will come back to my shifts, but this lets me wait until Alasdair is a little bit older, so I’m more confident to put him in nursery or with a childminder. I think for a mum that’s important.”
As well as flexibility, every day of Pilar’s job is busy and different, something she enjoys – and Pilar is also feeling settled in Scotland with her family, despite originally intending to only stay for two years. She says: “I love Scotland. It’s a very good place for job opportunities, it’s beautiful, the people are nice – my only complaint is the weather!”
And the future is looking bright, with Pilar also emphasising the safety and security of the industry, particularly in light of current job prospects in oil and gas: “The fish industry and in general the food industry, I think it’s a career that will always be there.”
Looking after a young family
For Lukasz Krysta, who has two sons Oliver and Kevin, the seafood industry has offered the flexibility to develop a career around his growing young family.
He moved from Poland to Fraserburgh in 2011, and although he didn’t have any experience in the fishing industry, he started working for Nor-Sea Foods in 2014. He says: “I basically started working as a cleaner, I was washing trolleys – that was my first job.”
Since joining, Lukasz has worked his way up through a series of promotions and is now a trainee shift manager, a role he’s held for about a year. At the moment he’s working backshifts, and this means he’s responsible for preparing the production plan, organising jobs and managing people.
“I was working backshifts for years because I had a baby born in 2014, so I had to work backshifts so my partner could work dayshifts – we were swapping each other,” says Lukasz.
When his second son was born, he was able to start swapping day shifts and back shifts with the other manager, enabling him to see both sides of the job.
He says that “usually there is no problem with flexibility” when it comes to managing his private life and work life, something that’s helpful and important, particularly when raising a young family.
And as well as enjoying working with people, Lukasz also likes the variety of his work: “Our products don’t have too long a shelf life, so basically every day looks different. We cannot produce too much in front because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few days. So basically you need to be prepared every day for something new.”
Plus, Scotland is also home to his family. His sister, brother-in-law, father-in-law and mum all live in the country, and Lukasz is enjoying living here.
Take advantage of a flexible new career
Seafish and the Scottish Seafood Association (SSA) have launched a new campaign called ‘Sea A Bright Future’ to highlight the range and benefits of jobs available in the seafood industry.
“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,” says SSA CEO Jimmy Buchan
“If you come in with ambition and a good attitude, there’s nothing to stop you.”
If you’re on the hunt for a job which offers flexibility and career progression, visit www.seaabrightfuture.com to find out more.