Cermaq, Marine Harvest in Canada recruitment drive

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First 2018 job ads from Marine Harvest Canada and Cermaq Canada in-line with growing scale of national aquaculture recruitment drive

The New Year appears to be shining brightly on Maritime Canada’s budding salmon-farming expansion, with signs federal, provincial and corporate efforts to fix workforce shortages are paying dividends.

While acute shortages of manpower have been felt most acutely in remotest Newfoundland, it’s Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University registering 2018’s first job ads from the likes of salmon-farming heavyweights Cermaq and Marine Harvest: “Recruitment Presentation: Cermaq Canada Ltd.,” the invitation said, adding, “Our salmon-farmers will be visiting your post-secondary institution to talk about careers in salmon farming, and you are invited to attend. To apply and arrange a 15-minute interview, please send your resume and photos to scott.jeffrey@dal.ca.”

Although advertising like Cermaq at Dalhousie University — with its Aquaculture Centre and 8,000 square feet of aquatic laboratories — Marine Harvest’s job ad seemed aimed at recruiting for its British Columbia business, for which it will be accepting resumes through to March 2018. Applicants needed to specify whether they were interested in applying for hatchery or sea site technician work either full-time or summer employment.

Recruitment drive
Make that summer employment. Advertising at Dalhousie University — home to super scientists like aquaculture nutritionist, Dr. Stefanie Colombo — might not yield the technicians a salmon-farming giant seeks (although curricula are changing).

In the final hours of 2017, Newfoundland’s Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, Gerry Byrne, announced the province’s Aquaculture Industry Plan is “growing the aquaculture industry and stimulating private sector employment” with the aim of producing 50,000 tonnes of salmon annually.

“In achieving these targets, the number of year-round jobs supported by aquaculture will more than double, from 1,000 to 2,100. We will continue to make the strategic investments required to further develop these sectors,” he stated.

The Province has worked out its aquaculture plan jointly with industry, which earlier in 2017 told SalmonBusiness this: “Even though 2016 realized the largest harvest of farmed (salmon) in our province’s history, there was an actual four-to-five percent decline in the labour force.”

As the clock ran out on 2017, Newfoundland declared it was upping its immigration target for 2018 to 1,700 and subsidizing employers to help 440 newcomers into employment.