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Moving to Shetland at the end of August - advice wanted!

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3 replies to this topic

#1 George M Campbell

George M Campbell


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Posted 17 February 2018 - 09:22 AM

Hello there. I'm originally from the Central Belt but have lived and worked abroad for the last 30 odd years. Due to family circumstances I'm moving back to Scotland but, to be honest, I can't picture myself back in Coatbridge. I'm a youthful 54 and I still want life to be an adventure, so I have decided to look into moving to Shetland.`


I have been teaching English in Central and Eastern Europe for the last twenty-two years but before that I worked all sorts of jobs: construction (the family business), factory jobs, warehousing, restaurant and bar work, hotel porter, milk processing, landscaping/gardening, driver's mate, etc, etc. - basically everything and anything. I'm looking for a change of scene and would like a bit of variety. What would be the chances of picking up two or three, even four, part-time jobs? Would I be right in assuming that a lot of part-time posts would be filled without necessarily advertising them? What about casual work, is there a lot of it around? 


I've been told that it might be possible to get social housing depending on where I choose to go. I looked at Shetland Council housing website and their low demand housing section. I was interested in the possibility of living on Yell. Anyone have any opinions? If I could get a house there, what would the chances of employment be? And what about transport? I don't drive - I use public transport, hitch hike and I am a cyclist (I cover big distances regularly) and also have the opportunity of getting a motorbike, would I be able to live on Yell, transport wise?


Yell notwithstanding, where would you recommend for someone who  is not afraid of hard work, is prepared to take on a challenge and is looking for something different? All advice, recommendations and suggestions gratefully accepted.

Edited by George M Campbell, 17 February 2018 - 09:24 AM.

#2 Scorrie



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Posted 17 February 2018 - 09:40 AM

Lots of questions :)


Regarding Yell, public transport is limited to say the least. However, if you've access to a motorbike then that's not an issue. Also bear in mind that on Yell and Unst you can legally drive a car on a provisional licence unaccompanied.


Living on Yell and working on mainland is do-able as there is a bus that meets the ferry early morning that runs down to Lerwick via Brae. TBH, if you get a place on Yell or Unst I would suggest approaching Cooke Aquaculture in Mid Yell. They are always on the lookout for staff for their salmon packing station as they get let down by some of their existing staff on a regular basis. The pay's not too bad and there is a Christmas bonus (not guaranteed) that can amount to a good few hundred quid after tax.


Mainland - contact Shetland Shellfish Management Group Ltd at Sparl, Brae. They sometimes need staff for their mussels grading and packing line. Or try Shetland Catch in Lerwick.


Accom can be a big issue in Shetland, but i reckon you've more chance of getting a rental at sensible prices on the isles than mainland. Advertise on here under accom and see what turns up, there's private lets that come up, but sometimes they get let out just by word of mouth - that's Shetland for you :)

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#3 John Allan

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 11:06 AM

Shetland is a fine place to live. Though the test of it all is normally through the winter which is extremely dark and at (most) times, extremely windy. Personally, I like it, the seas are wild and it helps you appreciate the spring and summer more!


Housing, you have little to no chance of social housing around Lerwick unless you fall under a number of special circumstances. Though the further you move out into the Islands, the higher the chance. Unst, Yell and Whalsay have housing available for example, and you will definitely be as far north as you will get from a housing perspective! Though as a note, if you can pick up a job before moving here you will stand a far better chance of getting a better placed house.


Transport to the North is poor, but to the south it is "slightly" better. You should pick up a zettrans timetable online which will give you a better idea http://www.zettrans.org.uk/Though you will normally get a lift if you stick out a thumb.


Work wise. A lot of casual work is seasonal, so you may have a chance of a number of part-time jobs through the summer; grass cutting, fish work and the like. In the winter it's a peerie bit hit and miss. Though Scorrie noted already a number of good options for you on the Islands.


I cycle on Shetland, just keep a mind that many folk use the road as a motorway, with many going well over motorway speeds, so make sure you are well and truly visible and remember, the bus here does not take bikes (madness), so if you cycle you're pretty stuck with it for the day.


Positively though. The air is clean. Crime is minimal to none (ignore that TV show!). I never lock my door (mind, it maybe different in Lerwick). There is always something to do and the summer days are long and mild,  and Shetland folk are some of the nicest in the world.


Good Luck!

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#4 Guest_tiodylb17_*

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 03:20 PM

I think you would like Yell , its a very short ferry journey to the mainland plus it has everything you need . couple of local shops , swimming pool and fitness center , I think there is a cafĂ© there as well, there is council housing there not sure of the demand.

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