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Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.
We asked Fergal Feehely from Construction Industry Federation to give some advice for people considering this job:
|If you work hard and produce excellent quality work you will never be quiet.|
|►||Guide to Self Assessment|
|►||Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry & Food|
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|►||Maritime, Fishing & Aquaculture|
|►||Building, Construction & Property|
|►||Chemical, Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences|
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|►||The Irish Education System|
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|►||Guide to Studying Abroad|
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|St. Angelas College|
|►||The Changing World of Work|
|►||Career Stories from around Ireland|
|►||Types of Employment|
|►||Changing Career Direction|
|►||Starting Your Own Business|
The Irish seafood sector employs approximately 11,000 people and is worth €822 million to the economy. The sector is showing phenomenal growth on the export market with sales up 18%, to €493 million in 2012.
A recent BIM industry conference “Irish Seafood – Becoming a Global Player” projects potential for the seafood industry in Ireland to achieve €1 billion in sales by 2020, creating 3,000 new jobs in the process.
The sector aim is that by 2020, Ireland will have become a global player in the seafood industry following expansion into new markets and engagement in a range of new value adding activities.
In the broader maritime sector, the marine environment offers an increasing range of varied, challenging and exciting careers. As with all sectors of the economy, the transition to a knowledge-based economy will drive the success of the sector going forward, working with cutting edge science and technology and maritime education has an important role to play here.
|Employers indicate that there is a shortage of workers in the following occupations in this sector at the moment.
More information on skills shortages can be found in the Labour Market Informationsection of this site.
|The following are occupations commonly found in this career sector. Click on the titles for detailed information. View All|
|13 courses found|
|14 courses found|
|The following Apprenticeships can be found in this career sector. Click on the titles for detailed information.|
|Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Craftsperson|
Ireland is one of the largest EU States, with a marine territory of approximately 880,000km, more than ten times our landmass.
For every €100 turnover created from our ocean economy, a further €78 is created indirectly in other sectors.
The sector can be divided into Maritime, Fishing and Aquaculture and includes activities such as seafisheries, seafood processing, seaweed processing, Marine Science (oil and gas exploration, marine biology and marine renewable energy production), and Marine commerce (financial, legal, insurance services).
The Government has set a 2020 target of exceeding €6.4bn in annual turnover drawn from a diverse range of marine sectors:
Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth
is the Integrated Marine Plan (IMP), setting out the roadmap for the Government’s vision to enable our marine potential to be realised.
Read the plan
Career areas in this sector include a wide range of entry level jobs, through to professional engineers, skilled technicians and trained scientists.
Water-based Tourism and Leisure Activities
This segment includes leisure activities such as Sea Angling (boat and shore); Water sports (sailing, boating, water skiing, jet skiing, surfing, kayaking, scuba diving etc); Seaside resorts/trips (Swimming, Bird watching, Whale/Dolphin Watching, Nature reserves, and eco tourism etc).
See also Tourism & Hospitality Sector.
Shipping and Maritime TransportLife at sea with the Merchant Marine has always appealed to young people who want to combine travel with a challenging career offering exciting future prospects. This is the life for those who relish the challenge of working with the sea - one of nature's most powerful and temperamental elements.
Modern technology is used extensively in many areas on board the merchant ship of today, with great emphasis being placed on safety and protection of the environment.
Despite the 'hi-tech' aspects of ship operations, seafarers must remain very much in tune with the natural environment in which they operate and the basic principles of seafaring. There are normally two main departments on board, the Deck and the Engine.
The Deck department is concerned with the overall operation of the ship and its responsibilities include navigation, communications, cargo and stability, maintenance and safety.
The Engine room department is responsible for all technical services including main engine propulsion, other plant and machinery, and electrical generation.
Careers in this area include: Master (Captain); Ship owner and operator; Chief Mate (Officer); 2nd Mate; 3rd Mate; Seaman; Port and Maritime Logistics (Shipping agent and Broker; Ship manager; Liner and Port agent; Stevedore; Radio operator, Loading Operator; Customs clearance officer; Freight forwarder; and Safety and Training related roles.
See also Transport & Logistics Sector
There are four main activities in the Irish Seafood Industry: Fishing, Fish Farming (Aquaculture), Seafood Processing and Seafood Marketing. The industry employs approximately 5,000 people in the catching sector, with another 2,000 engaged in fish farming, and 3,000 in processing and ancillary aquaculture around the coast.
People engaged in commercial fishing harvest fish and shellfish from their natural habitat and depend for their livelihood on a naturally replenishing sustainable supply of fish and shellfish. There are approximately 2,000 vessels in the Irish fishing fleet which represents approximately 2% of the total European fishing fleet capacity.
Some fishermen work on small inshore day boats often in sight of land. Crews are small - usually only two or three people and the catch is landed fresh that day. Others fish offshore on larger vessels on trips lasting days or weeks away from their home port, depending on the type and size of vessel. Navigation and safety skills are vital for all of those who work on the water, irrespective of the size of vessel. BIM provides a three day Basic Safety Training course which is a statutory requirement for all fishing vessel crewmembers, who are also obliged to wear Personal Flotation Devices.
Video: A career in sea fishing from Bord Iascaigh Mhara
Large boats require a crew that includes a skipper (the person in charge of a fishing vessel), a mate and engineer and highly skilled deckhands to operate the fishing gear, sort and pack the catch when it is brought on board and aid in the general operation of the vessel. Every day brings fresh challenges and modern vessels are highly sophisticated with an incredible array of hi-tech navigation and fishing equipment, which requires skill and experience to master. BIM is the agency responsible for training in the fishing industry and offers a wide range of courses and demand for crew members at all levels is still strong.
For more on the Irish Fishing Industry click here
Aquaculture is the farming of fish, shellfish and seaweed. According to EU figures, Ireland has the 7th largest aquaculture sector in the EU and produces almost 50,000 tons of aquaculture annually, with over 1,800 jobs in the area.
Fish farming is a growth area attracting people to work as farm managers, marine biologists, divers and highly skilled operatives who can detect changes in fish and shellfish behaviour and respond appropriately. There is consensus that aquaculture will be the main provider of fish and seafood in the future.
The work is very varied and more like that of a farmer than a fisherman, but the same skills that apply to fishing easily transfer across to aquaculture.
Instead of leaving it all to mother nature, there is now a huge industry in breeding, rearing and harvesting a range of fish, shellfish and seaweed - and terrific training opportunities courtesy of BIM.
Video: A career as an Oyster Farmer from Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM)
Oyster farming employed 775 people in 2015, providing valuable employment in coastal areas that often offer little alternatives. Over 90% of Irish oysters are exported, the majority going to France, however 2015 saw 10% of Irish oyster exports going to Hong Kong and China. The market for Irish oysters in these countries was actively targeted by Irish producers, with the assistance of BIM, in 2015. Irish oysters have received a warm welcome and command a premium price in these markets - they are now the highest priced oysters in this region.
Salmon farming accounts for 64% of total aquaculture production and is valued at €95 million.
Shellfish farming is valued at €51 million with oysters accounting for €38 million of this and the mussel farming industry valued at €13 million.
Shellfish farming is labour intensive - over 1,600 of total aquaculture jobs are in shellfish production.
The seafood processing sector is concentrated in the coastal regions of Donegal, Galway, Cork, Kerry and the South East. There are approximately 200 firms, mainly SMEs, engaged in handling, distribution and processing of fish. BIM surveys show less than 5% of these companies have more than 50 people employed fulltime, while a significant number of small operators supply a local market or sell to niche market outlets.
Video: A Career in Processing, Research & Development and Marketing from Bord Iascaigh Mhara(BIM)
The marketing of Irish seafood is an area that is performing well. €340 million worth of Irish is seafood sold at home annually. International markets include Europe, Africa and the Far East, with key export markets being France, Spain, Britain, Germany, Italy and Nigeria. The majority of exported Irish seafood goes to Europe, but emerging markets, including Korea, Hong Kong and Russia offer significant growth opportunities for the sector.
There are many exciting career opportunities in the areas of Marine Science and Technology including:
Oil and Gas Exploration
Ireland has been a producer of gas since the first Irish offshore well was drilled in the Celtic Sea in 1970. Activities in this area include exploration for oil and gas, and the extraction and production of gas.
The State has opened new areas for exploration licensing off the West Coast, and the oil and gas industry is again turning its attention to Ireland with greater vigour. In addition, recent discoveries of both oil and gas in the Celtic Sea, while not yet declared commercial, have underscored the potential of this area
Occupations required in oil and gas exploration include Geologist, Geophysicist, Drilling engineer, Production engineeer as well as several Specialised General Operative Roles (Roustabout, Derrickman, Toolpusher, Rig superintendent)
The area of Marine Engineering and Services includes the manufacture, repair and servicing of boats, sail-making, fishing nets, marine instruments, aquaculture technology, and marine industrial engineering.
The companies operating in this sector are typically small, but there are several in Ireland and significant numbers worldwide.
Occupations employed include: Boat builder; Welder; Marine engineer; Mechanical designer; and Carpenter among others.
|10 new jobs for Cork with Wavepower Technologies|
|TY students dive into marine science and technology at Marine Institute|
|Explorers Marine Education Programme|
|Our Ocean Wealth Summit June 2017|
|BIM Now Recruiting for Level 5 Programmes|
|Bord Iascaigh Mhara|
|National Fisheries College of Ireland|
|Now Recruiting for Level 5 Courses|
|National Fisheries College of Ireland|
|Radio and Safety Training January and February 2017|
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