THREE previously unemployed people are now in full-time work thanks to the Passport to Processing initiative that was created to promote seafood careers in the north-east of Scotland.
The aim of the pilot project is to highlight to young people the opportunities available in the seafood sector and provide support that could lead to jobs for the right candidates.
Funded by the Scottish Seafood Partnership (SSP), the initiative is the brainchild of the Scottish Seafood Association (SSA) and is also supported by Aberdeen Foyer, the Prince’s Trust, Job Centre Plus and Skills Development Scotland.
The project commenced in the summer of 2016, with seven candidates initially signing up to the scheme.
The initial induction process involved candidates being given a tour of Peterhead fish market and local processing companies to show them the various roles in the sector.
They also received training towards certificate of work readiness and in basic food hygiene, manual handling and basic first aid.
They were then given placements with three processors in Peterhead and one in Fraserburgh for work experience over a three-week period, with the hope of full-time employment for those who enjoyed the experience and met the requirements of the companies.
Three are now in full-time employment, including Daryl Innes, 25, who is working as a process worker at Seafood Ecosse in Peterhead.
Daryl said: ‘It’s great to have had this opportunity and I’m really enjoying the work here and being able to play a key role in the company’s success.’
David Leiper, sales and purchasing director of Seafood Ecosse, said: ‘Passport to Processing is a fantastic initiative that is giving youngsters a helping hand to pursue worthwhile careers in the seafood industry.
‘I believe the future opportunities in the seafood industry are excellent – our fish stocks are sustainable and demand for quality Scottish seafood is growing all the time.
‘There are so many different types of job available in seafood processing and the sector offers careers with definite pathways for progression.’
Clare MacDougall, project manager for the Scottish Seafood Partnership, said: ‘We are delighted that the funding available from SSP has been able to support such a successful pilot project and permanent employment opportunities within the seafood sector.’
Picture: Daryl Innes found processing employment at Seafood Ecosse