Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency has announced details of a strategic plan to ensure the skills required for an innovative, professional and sustainable seafood industry are delivered.
The strategy seeks to address a number of challenges faced by the fishing sector, as identified in an analysis of the Irish fishing fleet labour force, commissioned by BIM in 2022. In addition to delivering skills that are currently required, BIM will determine and plan for future skill requirements, ensuring business and technical skills.
Speaking at the launch, which will see a spend of €5 million over the lifetime of the plan,Caroline Bocquel, BIM’s Chief Executive said,
“The skills needed by the Irish seafood industry are evolving significantly. Although traditional skills remain extremely important and are at the core of the training BIM provides, new skills are required that reflect recent technology advancements, regulations and market demands. The development of skills to protect our natural environment, while operating a sustainable and profitable business model, are integral to the continued growth and success of the industry. We are also working to develop a range of sustainability programmes and modules across BIM’s training and client services that will enhance knowledge and insights and allow industry to meet rapidly changing demands”.
The four key strategic objectives to be delivered upon are: Attracting new entrants to the seafood sector; Creating and promoting career paths in the seafood sector; Delivering the right courses, to the right people, in the right way; and Building strategic partnerships for growth.
Welcoming the new strategy, Minister McConalogue said,
“An agile, professional, and skilled workforce is essential for the future sustainability of Ireland’s seafood industry. The ambitious goals outlined in this strategy aim to support the industry in navigating future challenges and opportunities. By offering diverse and rewarding career paths, complemented by modern and professional training, I’m confident the industry will be better positioned to attract and retain the talent required for its long-term success.”
The Irish seafood sector is an important and valuable contributor to the national economy, valued at €1.3 billion in 2022 and employing almost 16,000 adults, many of whom live and work in Ireland’s coastal communities. The process of catching, growing and adding product value through seafood processing, retail and foodservice plays a key role in the cultural, social and economic fabric of coastal communities.
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