Is island study and life for you?

Shetland, the islands in the far north of Scotland, famous for ponies, knitwear and that BBC murder-mystery series…but, have you considered it as a place to start your working life? Shetland has lots to offer young people and the low population often means you can gain more experience and get ahead in your chosen profession more quickly than you might otherwise do on the Scottish mainland.

Further education

If you’d like to continue your education, Shetland College UHI offers courses from National Certificate to Postgraduate level, including accounting, joinery, childcare, software development, textiles, archaeology, music and media courses. Or, if you’re interested in maritime training courses, check out the NAFC Marine Centre.

On-the-job training

If you’re looking for work, Shetland has a number of on-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities, from construction and engineering, to agriculture, hospitality and hairdressing. Or, you can go straight into work through a graduate trainee programme.
Shetland software developers, Mesomorphic, recently took on Finlay Mercer as a graduate apprentice straight from school. Finlay has been employed as a junior software developer. “Shetland is a great place to start and continue your career,” says Maria Bell, Mesomorphic’s managing director. “With good transport links to the mainland, great island infrastructure and a multitude of groups and clubs you’ll soon find yourself settled and raring to go.”

Hands on training works best for apprentice Shane

Vehicle maintenance apprentice Shane Johnson works with Lerwick-based DFDS Shetland Transport. Shane said: “I get a lot of satisfaction through my apprenticeship. If an engine came in not starting you build it all back up and, at the first turn of the key, it’s back in action. I find it really satisfying.” Shane is currently working on his Level 3 qualification in heavy vehicle maintenance through Train Shetland and goes to Moray Firth Training Centre in Inverness on block release to complete his training.

Alasdair takes to the seas

Alasdair Bendall moved to Shetland to study on NAFC’s Merchant Navy Officer Cadet Programme. He’s in his second year of a three-year traineeship, splitting his time between classroom-based study and working at sea. Alasdair said: “The college is fantastic as the class sizes are small and you get lots of contact time with your lecturers. “Shetland is a fantastic place to live. The people are friendly and there’s lots to do. I’m into the local music scene and a keen amateur photographer.”

Developing the Young Workforce Shetland works with employers to find training, apprenticeships and jobs for young people. Follow them on Facebook: