HB Grandi takes on staff for pelagic season
Preparations are in full swing at HB Grandi’s pelagic facility at Vopnafjördur for the approaching mackerel and herring season, and staff numbers are expected to swell significantly over the summer and autumn. There are around 40 permanent staff at the factory, but the staff numbers are expected to increase to over 100 during the season.
According to factory manager Magnús Róbertsson, the reason is that a new blast freezer is being installed for the larger grades of mackerel. Grading out the largest fish and blast freezing them separately from the plate-frozen fish increases the prices they fetch.
‘Just the new blast freezer means between 15 and 20 new jobs, and apart from those, we need to take on an extra 40 people,’ Magnús Róbertsson said.
Although the summer/autumn jobs have not been advertised, 115 applications have already reached the company in Vopnafjördur. Youngsters in Vopnafjördur and the surrounding areas were given summer work last year, something that was once standard practice for school children but which has not been seen for decades. Things are looking positive, Magnús Róbertsson said, commenting that he hopes to see the season last into September, and as the youngsters need to be back at school in late August, it is clear that their efforts alone will not be enough to keep the factory running. He said that applications from locals take priority, along with those who are lucky enough to be able to stay with friends or relatives in the area during the season. In spite of this, the company expects to have to rent housing in Vopnafjördur for 15 to 20 people over the summer and into the autumn.
HB Grandi’s pelagic vessels are expected to start fishing on herring and mackerel in early June.