Orkney salmon farm attracts families to the islands

Orkney salmon farm attracts families to the islands

Scottish Sea Farms has attracted employees from across the UK to the company’s operations in Orkney.

The salmon farm in Eday, north of Orkney, has completed a major expansion, creating a further five new jobs and significantly increasing production levels.

Eday site manager Phil Boardman, said: “With a local population of less than 140, five new skilled jobs have been welcomed by the local community. 

“The remote location made recruitment difficult and required some ‘blue sky’ approaches, we specifically targeted those who were seeking a lifestyle change and the result is a great range of people from different and diverse backgrounds. 

“There was an intensive training period for new staff up front, which highlighted the company’s commitment to the individuals. 

"Securing suitable accommodation for the families has proved challenging but the team are all working well together.”

Orkney is recognised in national surveys as one of the best places to live in the UK, but it can be difficult to attract skilled workers. 

Claire Scott, SSF Recruitment Co-ordinator, said: “We had to look at a number of different ways to reach out to both locals and people looking to relocate. 

“We used social media to full effect on this occasion, using Twitter and Facebook as well as advertising on digital and traditional job sites, this resulted in lots of interest from people who had no direct experience in fish farming but had transferable skills.

“We appreciate that it’s a massive risk to move from your existing home, change your workplace and ask your family to relocate to somewhere you have only seen on a Google map. 

“The feedback so far from the team is great and they are all very happy with their decision to join the SSF team in Orkney.”

Eday is now the largest Scottish Sea Farms site in Orkney, where the waters are renowned for their fast flowing currents and high water quality, an environment which is ideal for growing strong muscular fish of premium quality. 

The farm is expected to produce around 2,800 tonnes of salmon over the next 22 months, for sale in the UK market.