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

You have probably heard the phrase “catching the right fish”, for decades it has been used in reference to finding the right match to join projects – professional or personal-. When it comes to talent you might also have heard “there are 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 of people without a job.  

As of 2018 the Aquaculture and Fisheries industries employed around 59.5 million people worldwide (FAO, 2020). In the U.S.A that number is estimated to be 169,950 people (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.  

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 fishes, 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 work place.  

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 workforce.  

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, with how much everything within the industries have evolved, jobs are requiring highly trained people.  

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

Considering there are over 7.5 million unemployed people in the USA and 187.7 million globally, as companies we have the ability to train and provide support to unskilled workers; 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!  

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 what 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. 

Reeling in the right talent can be a hard job, but always satisfactory, you can also count with AquacultureTalent to help you reel in the best employeed 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 you employees need to grow within the organization, we have addressed this in a previous blog. 

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