To leave or not to leave?

Departing from Barra

Departing from Barra

Within the Highlands and Islands the younger generation are facing an increasingly difficult choice, either move away from this beautiful location or stay and face the challenge of finding a job.

Scotland’s rural locations have seen an increase in population over the past 10 years, however findings show that there is a relative shortage of young adults, due to people moving away for job opportunities and education.

In the Highlands and Islands 4 out of 5 school leavers left their home town to enter higher or further education.

Whilst finding training or employment is difficult everywhere these days, there are specific challenges for young people who remain in rural locations. They include inadequate transport options, poor access to careers advice and a potentially little or no training or career progression.

So young people in rural areas can face a choice – leave the local area that they know and love or remain and take a chance in a potentially limited labour market.

According to the Scottish National Rural Network, those who move away are in a better economic position by age 23 than those who remain.

However, will your quality of life suffer? Is the cost of living higher? Will you be happier?

With 15,500 employers in the Highlands and Islands perhaps there isn’t a shortage of jobs just a lack of visibility of the opportunities.

There are a host of local initiatives which seek to enhance young people’s labour market opportunities and these should work from the grassroots up, HIJOBS is seeking to work with local schools, colleges and universities to enhance the skill-sets needed by the youth of today to help them source employment locally – keeping our talent within this perfect location.

Take a look at some of our tools and resources to help you in your job search:

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