Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
Executive Council
September 27, 2019

Supporting Recruitment and Retention in the Aquaculture Industry

To support the further implementation of a recruitment and retention strategy for the aquaculture industry, the Provincial Government, is investing $550,000 for the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) to develop the project Driving Awareness and Interest: An Educational Introduction to the Newfoundland and Labrador Aquaculture Industry. The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, announced funding during the NAIA Cold Harvest gala reception and dinner last night.

The Labour Market Partnerships (LMP) program project, funded under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development Agreement, will include three primary tools to support sustainable aquaculture growth:

  • Aquaculture 101: an online course aimed at encouraging adults as well as students and youth to join the aquaculture industry through a greater understanding of its potential;
  • A virtual reality video providing an immersive introduction to aquaculture. The five-to-seven minute video will be promoted in the province’s schools and targeted toward youth, parents, and job seekers; and,
  • A website promoting the course and video that focuses on current and future employment opportunities in the province’s aquaculture industry.

Work on the virtual reality video will be carried out by Learning Labs. As part of the long-term vision for the industry, introducing the province’s youth to the sector is considered central to continued growth. Through this project, NAIA is planning to develop a virtual reality-based, immersive experience for youth in both primary and secondary school. The project will involve the creation of virtual reality simulations that highlight the existing opportunities in the industry, and the cutting-edge methods of modern-day aquaculture in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The initiative builds on over $396,000 provided to NAIA to support the development of an Aquaculture Recruitment and Retention Strategy. In 2018, NAIA was granted an additional $588,225 over two years to implement the recruitment and retention strategy.  The Provincial Government, through the LMP, has invested $1.5 million to NAIA since 2017 to support the aquaculture industry.

This initiative also delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at

“New developments in aquaculture are significant for Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy and our sustainable aquaculture industry has the potential to create even more private sector jobs and economic growth throughout the province. Supporting the increased development of this industry is a key commitment in The Way Forward and will enable more Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to build their future right here at home.”
The Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Newfoundland and Labrador’s sustainable aquaculture industry is creating private sector jobs and economic growth, including in rural and remote areas. Through continued partnership between government and the industry we support further implementation of a recruitment and retention strategy for the aquaculture industry. The development of additional tools to help the industry meet its labour market needs will benefit not only the aquaculture industry itself, but the provincial economy as well.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour

“Newfoundland and Labrador’s aquaculture sector is rapidly expanding to help supply an ever-growing global demand for seafood, as well as increasing food self-sufficiency and security right here at home. Thanks to the work of more than 400 women and men already employed in the aquaculture sector, our province is providing top-quality seafood raised in accordance with the highest global standards. I look forward to the future recruitment of even more skilled workers who will help ensure we remain a world leader in aquaculture health and production well into the future.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Fisheries and Land Resources

“In addition to providing healthy and sustainable seafood to the worlds growing population, farming our oceans with care provides year-round jobs to hard working Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. With modern educational tools such as virtual reality and online learning resources we are investing in the work force of the future and the rural coastal communities they call home.”
Mark Lane
Executive Director, Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association

“The growth in the aquaculture sector is shifting career choices and developing emerging opportunities through digital transformation. Immersive learning is a tool to connect, educate and engage youth to see the world of aquaculture through a different lens. At Learning Labs, we are transforming the digital workforce and opening new ways to learn.”
Steve Taylor
CEO, Learning Labs

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Learn more
The Way Forward on Aquaculture 

Labour Market Information

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Media contacts
Geoff Higdon
Office of the Premier

Ryan Crocker
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
709-729-1795, 725-9595

Linda Skinner
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2284, 632-8167 

Mark Lane
Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association

Steve Taylor
Learning Labs

2019 09 27                              3:00 p.m.