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Why are there so many unfilled positions in Aquaculture and Fisheries?

You have probably heard the phrase “catching the right fish”. It has been used for decades in reference to finding the right match to join projects – professional or personal-. When it comes to talent you might also have heard “there is plenty of fish in the sea”. And that’s true as well, as of 2019 the global unemployment rate was located at 5.4% (ILOSTAT, 2020). That translates to at least 187.7 million people without a job.  But why are there so many unfilled positions in Aquaculture and Fisheries?

unfilled positions in Aquaculture and fisheries

As of 2018, the Aquaculture and Fisheries industries employed around 59.5 million people worldwide (FAO, 2020). 169,950 is the estimated number of people in the USA (OECD). Understanding, or at least being aware of this data, helps us evaluate how Aquaculture and Fisheries are defined. As an activity that not only produces a nutritional source but also provides livelihood and income for millions of people.  

Understand the Numbers

The actual number per industry may not be accurate, and different sources provide different numbers. But the reality is that in the Fisheries and Aquaculture industries in the USA there are more vacant positions than unemployed skilled people. There are more seas than fish. The reasons this may be happening are diverse. But within the most significant ones, we find that: jobs are going unfulfilled because of natural fluctuations in the workplace.  

The rural location of much of the aquaculture industry is also a challenge when it comes to attracting talent. Most companies have to work with local talent, and they also need to be willing to train local people to perform these jobs, in order to secure a workforce. 

Skills are a Breaking Point

Another reason is the fact some employers have a hard time finding the right people, with the right skills, for the rate they are willing to pay. When these industries started thriving 40 years ago most jobs did not even require more than a high school diploma. But now jobs are requiring highly trained people since things within the industry have evolved so much.  

By trained people, we refer to even basic skill-set training, not necessarily college education. Skills that will allow those in the workforce to evolve, develop, and adapt to the industry. To ensure their employees are well prepared and willing to stay, some employers may develop mentoring programs. Other companies fill these positions through immigration. 

As companies, we have the ability to train and provide support to unskilled workers. Considering there are over 7.5 million unemployed people in the USA and 187.7 million globally. Just like fishing, we in Aquaculture and Fisheries need to provide the right bait to fish those people and those with compatible skills into our industry. And make them grow with us!  

Fix Your Recruitment Process

You have to design a recruiting strategy that will be effective for your organization. Just like fishermen need to plan different fishing techniques for the different species there are. It’s your organization, positions, and needs that will determine the mechanism for talent sourcing and define your talent pool. Not the other way around. You first need to identify who the ideal employee is, what your company goals are, and how will you provide training for those that may lack some areas but are strong on others. Then you put at play the strategy to spin them in. 

There are many unfilled positions in Aquaculture and Fisheries. And reeling in the right talent can be a hard job, but always satisfactory. You can also count on AquacultureTalent to help you reel in the best employees into your boat, or to drop the best fishes in your tanks, to ensure success in your organization. But once that has happened, remember just like fishes your employees need to grow within the organization. We have addressed this in another post

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