Engineering, Manufacturing & Supply Chain Recruitment

Nine Twenty carries out a Q&A with MOWI

 20th Jan 2020

Nine Twenty Engineering & Manufacturing worked closely with Mowi in 2017 where we assisted their Head of Engineering, Brian Banks to build his engineering team. We successfully placed Stephen Kennedy as the Facilities Manager and recently caught up with Stephen to hear about his progress and to hear more about the latest roles we are supporting with on site.


  1. Tell us about your journey to date?

Where do I start!

Since joining MOWI I have seen many changes within the Engineering department including a full restructure of my own Facilities team.  On a more personal note, I’ve also been given the opportunity to take on additional responsibilities as deputy department head, so I’ve had plenty of mentoring and growth under the watchful eye of our Head of Engineering – Brian Banks.

Early in 2017 we developed and communicated a three-year departmental improvement plan. We gathered baseline engineering downtime information, engaged in team consultations and analysed specific areas for improvement like spares availability, competence and retention. In the three years since, we have:

  • Created engineering process documents,
  • Created a document control system
  • Introduced process training to ensure that engineering improvements are formalised
  • Reduced production machinery downtime by 11.1% in 2018
  • Reduced production machinery downtime by 29.1% in 2019
  • Tripled our critical spares holdings
  • Enrolled our engineers on courses such as modern apprenticeships, SVQ Level 3, HNC, HND and a wide range of vocational and safety training.
  • Contributed to improving the site from a BRC audit A rating to the highest possible (AA*) rating in 2018
  • Achieved an AA* rating for the second year running in 2019

You might think after achieving all of this we would rest on our laurels a bit, but that’s just not the MOWI way.  Here at Mowi we never stand still.  We’ve recently completed a few technician led engineering improvements, rolled out a brand new computerised maintenance management system (CMMS), introduced greener engineering energy savings initiatives and even won the inter departmental 5S trophy!  Mowi people at all levels strive to be the best and safest at everything we do.


  1. You are looking for people in your team, tell us more about the roles?

Mowi has grown continuously over the last five years and as a result we have several exciting opportunities right now. These include a hands-on supervisory technician role, an installation electrician role and a couple of spaces for new multi-skilled maintenance technicians.

I think supervisory technician opportunity offers an amazing chance for someone to come into MOWI and make a new role their own. As we’ve just rolled out the CMMS system, we need someone who can demonstrate high quality hands-on engineering standards across a broad spectrum of engineering work to our technician assistants, who are all training toward SVQ level 3 maintenance qualifications. The ideal supervisory technician needs to be competent and capable, but also enthusiastic, loyal and flexible. This will be a great job for a good communicator who is able to prioritise and able to work alongside, develop and influence real people.

The installation electrician role is another great position, this time for an experienced industrial electrician. We are expanding and growing and despite extending the factory twice in 2019, we still have around 30% of our site to develop. We have upgraded our electrical supply and fitted a new electrical switchboard this year and there’s a constant flow of electrical installation work as our business grows. We move machines and their power supplies around frequently, to make sure we are getting the most from our available space.  In addition to all this, we have a significant electrical installation maintenance load, which will all be part of the installation electrician’s portfolio. 

The installation electrician certainly needs to work to high standards of safety and quality and be able to test and certify installed circuits. However, the ideal candidate will be flexible enough to work to production deadlines, able to lead a small team and willing to join in with anything and everything that goes on in the world of facilities!

The multi-skilled maintenance technician roles are part of a larger team, dedicated to keeping our production machines running. Some key attributes associated with these roles are a keen eye for potential failures, the ability to spot, develop and propose engineering improvement opportunities and the ability to maintain complex and challenging machines. However, the requirements we value most are team fit, a multi-skilled background with solid qualifications and a genuine desire to learn from and work with an amazing engineering team.


  1. You have a strong training background and I know you are passionate about developing people, tell us about the systems you have created to give your team opportunity to develop your career?

I’ve been heavily involved in mentoring, training and leading engineering teams for over twenty years. I’ve been lucky enough to help develop and be part of some really great teams over the years, and have enjoyed working with fully trained, keen, conscientious, trusting and loyal individuals, who would go the extra mile!

I invest in people at every opportunity. Why wouldn’t I?  Training and promoting from within can lead to greatness.  Since joining MOWI we’ve enrolled 10 Technician Assistants into a development program with Fife College. These Engineers are all on track to complete their SVQ Level 3 in the maintenance of engineering systems this year. Alongside this, we have one candidate going through formal training as a plumber, one on the modern apprenticeship scheme and three on HNC / HND.

Of course, it’s not all about training.  People who are trusted will offer trust.  People who are valued will offer value.  Investing in people isn’t about the jargon – it’s about decent human behaviour and a desire to see real people improve and grow.  The perfect team is one you can eventually walk away from without any fear, because everyone is capable and confident enough to deliver.


  1. What type of people will work well in your team?

Team fit, attitude and behaviour are everything at MOWI. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a great team and once you have one, you need to develop with it and grow alongside it. The type of people who work well in our team have a great work ethos.  They’re flexible, work well under pressure and have an amazing sense of humor.

Being Mowi isn’t for everyone.  If you like things steady and unchanging I’d stop reading now!  Being Mowi is about being comfortable with frequent change, being dynamic and constantly looking for improvements and efficiencies.  A key difference at Mowi is that we don’t waste time.  Your next good improvement proposal is likely to be answered by “Why isn’t it done yet?”


  1. The site has expanded since we last worked with you, tell us more about this?

Since I joined the business, we’ve completed two major expansion projects.  Mowi is very forward looking, and in 2014 deliberately invested in a site that had plenty of additional space that we could grow into.   Having completed the phase 4 and phase 5 expansion works, we are now producing in around 70% of our available space.

Mowi engineering took internal ownership of Construction Design Management and project management in 2018, so the bulk of this expansion work has been managed internally.  Expansion projects in the last couple of years have included:

  • Developing a further 1600m2 of production hygienic flooring space
  • Installing a 50% increase in filleting capacity
  • Installing a 50% increase in kiln cooking capacity
  • Building three new refrigerated raw material storage rooms
  • Building three new refrigerated production line rooms production room
  • Building a new crate washroom
  • New polystyrene box recycling room
  • Installing new factory air compressors including a thermal energy recovery system
  • Buying and installing a new DAF effluent treatment plant
  • Building additional production office space
  • Upgrading staff canteen facilities
  • Building new meeting rooms and a high-tech engineering / facilities complex
  • We have also reduced water and effluent flows (and costs) through initiatives like installing closed loop cooling systems.

We are currently installing a new ammonia plant room with integrated SCADA room, cooling tower and new refrigeration system for the newly completed production area.  At the same time, we are installing a second air compressor set, new modified atmosphere packaging lines and scoping a new end of line automation project. 


  1. Tell us why you enjoy working at Mowi?

WOW now that’s a great question!

I enjoy getting things done.  It gives me a real sense of achievement.  That’s what Mowi gives me.  I think I’ve only ever worked in one other environment that was as agile and let me make decisions that really made a difference.  That was the Armed Forces where I spent 24 years as an engineer. It’s true that I sometimes find myself under a bit of pressure to deliver, whether it be a major/minor project or a simple defect repair. That’s because everyone is working together and relying on each other – and that’s why team fit, attitude and behavior are everything.

I’m no psychologist, but MOWI tends to suck you in.  We have long term plans and strategies, but no day is ever the same and planning each day can be very difficult, because priorities can change by the minute.  Strangely this seems to inspire us all to act in the right way, to take responsibility and to help each other to reach our longer-term goals.

It’s all about the team for me, and guess what, if you have a great team it makes the working environment a better place to be. I believe this comes hand in hand with productivity.  If you’re enjoying your work, more gets done and I guess that’s why I enjoy working at MOWI.

If you would like to find out more about working in the team then please contact one of our Consultants who can discuss the roles in more detail.

Rehana Sadiq



Caroline’s Strachan



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