Sealord has been allocated 180 seafood processing visas for overseas workers. They will fill labor shortages in its wet fish factory in Nelson. The visa allocation is part of the Government's new seafood sector agreement that provides 600 visas for seafood process workers in the fishing industry.
Sealord's General Manager of Human Resources, Dawn Cooper said: "Over the last 12 months we've worked closely with Seafood NZ and the Government on ways to deal with skills shortages within the seafood industry. This year during our busy hoki season we were 200 roles short. Despite our CEO, senior team, and other office workers volunteering for factory shifts."
"These visas will make a big difference to our factory vacancies and will be essential during hoki season next year. Our next challenge is to find suitable accommodation to house them, given the accommodation shortage," she added.
The need for accommodation is for Vietnamese workers. The company's Human Resources team is hoping to recruit them when they head to Vietnam later this month. They will be meeting with potential workers for the Hoki season (May to September) and continuing until the end of the year.
Finally, Cooper confirmed the company is keen to hear from accommodation providers in Nelson that can offer group housing with single bedrooms and shared cooking facilities. Sealord would also like to hear from people in the community interested in providing board in their own homes.
Sealord is one of the largest seafood companies in the Southern Hemisphere with fishing operations in New Zealand, Australia, and Mauritius. It exports 90% of its catch in various frozen formats to 40 countries.
Encompassing both sustainable deep-sea fishing and finfish aquaculture operations, Sealord employs more than 1,000 people in New Zealand and 240 people overseas.
It is one of the largest quota holders in New Zealand harvesting sustainable seafood. It also owns Petuna Aquaculture and Sealord King Reef in Australia.
Established in Nelson, New Zealand more than 60 years ago, today Sealord is equally owned by Māori through Moana New Zealand, and global seafood company Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd (Nissui).