Sealord has been allocated 180 seafood processing visas for overseas workers to fill labour shortages in its wetfish factory in Nelson, however the company needs assistance to find suitable accommodation given the acute housing shortage.
The visa allocation is part of the Government’s new seafood sector agreement that provides 600 visas for seafood process workers in the fishing industry from 1 November to help fill much-needed roles.
Sealord’s General Manager Human Resources Dawn Cooper says the company is pleased to be part of the scheme.
“Over the last 12 months we’ve worked closely with Seafood NZ and the Government on ways to deal with skills shortages within the seafood industry. This year during our busy hoki season we were 200 roles short despite our CEO, senior team and other office workers volunteering for factory shifts,” she says.
“These visas will make a big difference to our factory vacancies and will be essential during hoki season next year. Our next challenge is to find suitable accommodation to house them, given the accommodation shortage.”
Sealord has nearly 50 overseas workers arriving from Samoa in late January and has successfully organised accommodation through existing Sealord staff, many of whom are family or friends.
The need for accommodation is for Vietnamese workers the company’s Human Resources team is hoping to recruit when they head to Vietnam later this month. They will be meeting with potential workers for hoki season (May to September) continuing until the end of the year.
Cooper says the company is keen to hear from accommodation providers in Nelson that can offer group housing with single bedrooms and shared cooking facilities for about $150 - $200 per week per person, depending on whether meals are provided. Sealord would also like to hear from people in the community interested in providing board in their own homes. Please contact Sealord’s recruitment team to signal interest, email: firstname.lastname@example.org