As a world leading seafood corporation, Lerøy Seafood has no problem recruiting staff on their own. But they choose to recruit through the Seafood Trainee program.

This article was first published in our Annual Report 2019. As of today, more than 400 applicants have been evaluated and 30 candidates are starting this August.

– We have been very successful at getting great, competent people into our company, says Group Director HR Siren Merete Grønhaug. Seafood Trainee is NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster’s national trainee program, supplying the seafood companies with outstanding professionals with a taste for seafood. Mowi, Cargill and Grieg Seafood are among the other diligent users of the program.

Learning the whole value chain
With 4600 employees, Grønhaug and her colleagues need to recruit a great variety of people every year. – The good cooperation in the cluster gives the industry a broader perspective. And with this type of program, you widen your search. Therefore, we get a great variety of candidates with backgrounds spanning from a deep technical knowledge to economists, Grønhaug explains. 83 trainees have so far completed the program, that started in 2016. 33 trainees are now in the fourth group of the program. – The trainees have gained a very good insight into the industry’s value chain, says Grønhaug And the companies are not the only ones that are happy with the arrangement: – In general, most of the trainees have been offered a job in the group, says Grønhaug.

– We got a unique insight
Erik Selaas (25) is one of the young professionals who has been a trainee in Lerøy. With a bachelor’s degree in logistics and supply chain management from Molde University College, he secured a place as a seafood trainee. – During the partnership, we visited many companies and were well received. We got a unique insight into the whole value chain, and the challenges the seafood industry is facing. I also got a lot of new friends and a large network in many different companies, which will be valuable for my career in the business. All in all, I am very satisfied with the Seafood Trainee program, and I will absolutely recommend others to do it, says Selaas. When his traineeship ended in the summer of 2019, he had already secured a job in Lerøy.

Aiming for 500 applicants
In January 2020 we are starting the recruiting process for the next cohort, and NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster has set the goal to get 500 applicants. – We are looking for candidates that have just graduated with bachelor’s or master’s degree and have a maximum of two years of experience, says Benedicte Skogen, who is Competence Manager at NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster

Access to the best candidates
The Seafood Trainee program is open to all companies that are interested in the seafood industry. The program builds a reputation for the industry and attracts the best candidates for the companies. The trainees stay for one year, and their wages are paid by the companies. The candidates have a varied educational background: Biology, law, technology, programming, economy, marketing, communication, fish health, and social sciences, to mention a few. The companies choose the competency they need, and what job they want the trainee to do. The trainees gather for four three-day seminars during the year, to learn about topics like value chains, innovation, sales and marketing, bioprocesses, and sustainability.

Going for the Next level
The huge success for Seafood Trainee has urged NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster to establish another program, aimed at more experienced new staff in the business. The program, Seafood Next, will start in September 2020 and give new employees in the industry a deeper insight into the whole value chain of the seafood industry. It is built on the model of Seafood Trainee but adjusted to suit more senior participants. – We have experienced that there is a need for increased knowledge for more senior professionals coming into the seafood industry, says Skogen.

Want to know more?
Contact our Competence Manager Benedicte Skogen,, or visit