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Irish Sea Fisheries Board Helps Provide Top Graduates to the Seafood Processing Sector

06 May 2014

IRELAND - Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency and University College Cork (UCC) signed a memorandum of understanding to provide structured industry placements for UCC graduates to the Irish Seafood Processing Sector through the ‘Seafood Graduate Programme’.

The programme, to be administered by the Food Industry Training Unit in UCC and the Seafood Development Centre (SDC) in BIM, will enable greater collaboration and facilitate the transition of graduates into employment via BIM’s SDC innovation facility in Clonakilty, Co. Cork. The programme will also include a ‘Graduate Masters Bursary’ to enable graduates to undertake a research masters qualification that is of direct relevance to the Irish Seafood Industry.

Jason Whooley, BIM’s CEO explains the rationale behind the partnership at the signing of the MOU in UCC: "We have set ambitious targets under our corporate strategy to build scale in the Irish Seafood Processing Sector by 2017 and in drafting our strategy we identified a deficit with regard to third level graduates taking up positions in the seafood industry. To address this gap and to ensure we have the necessary skills in our industry to drive innovation and growth, we are delighted to partner with UCC and use our collective resources to attract graduates into this exciting industry. A number of seafood companies have already expressed an interest in recruiting graduates so we are looking forward to the valuable contribution these new entrants will play in the future of the Irish Seafood Sector"

The Irish Seafood Sector is worth an estimated €810 million and with Irish seafood in great demand on global markets; it is an industry that offers a variety of career choices. The processing sector in particular is a business that can offer roles in Food Business, Marketing, New Product Development and advanced technologies in the sector.

UCC have previously worked with other food industries through their Food Industry Training Unit to offer new career paths to their graduates as Dr. Michael Murphy, President, UCC explains: "We welcome the opportunity to work more closely with BIM in the seafood sector which is very important for Ireland and global food supply. We are always looking at new opportunities and graduate programmes that will offer our students wider opportunities and career choices. University College Cork in working in partnership with BIM’s Seafood Development Centre, offers a new opportunity for graduates both academic and hands on experience of the business of seafood and the opportunities available"

The graduates working through BIM’s SDC will gain a wealth of experience as they will get the opportunity to work alongside the SDC team with seafood companies on a range of projects from product concept development through to market development and industrial production scale up. BIM’s SDC is a purpose built facility that enables seafood companies to develop and test new products and processes before committing to capital expenditure. In order to drive innovation across the sector and to allow easy access to the necessary technology and expertise, BIM has also recently extended its innovation services to Donegal through a strategic partnership with Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT)

Learn more about the Seafood Graduate Development Scheme

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