News round-up / Dare to be different, lottery anniversary, nesting gulls, Battle of the Bands, New Shetlander, renewables jobs promise

Pupil Freya Laurenson gaining skills in marine engineering. Photo: SDS

A GROUP of Shetland third and fourth year pupils became modern apprentices for the day as part of Skills Development Scotland’s (SDS) Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which is aimed at raising awareness of apprenticeship opportunities.

The pupils were encouraged to ‘dare to be different’ by SDS. Boys spent time in traditionally female dominated workplaces while the girls went to workplaces which are seen as male dominated.

SDS equality executive Marguerite Adam said: “We wanted to raise awareness of apprenticeship opportunities and gender stereotyping in certain industries. These challenges are UK-wide, but can sometimes be even more difficult for young people in remote locations with smaller populations to overcome.”

The boys in the group experienced what it was like to be a social services apprentice at the New Craigielea, Edward Thomason and Nordalea care homes, while they also went to the nursery at the Baltasound Junior High School.

The girls saw what modern apprentices in maritime engineering and construction do at the ferry dry docks, the NAFC Marine Centre, Shetland Islands Council’s building services and the Shetland College.


MORE than £25 million of National Lottery funding has awarded to projects in Shetland during the past quarter of a century.

Celebrating its 25thanniversary later this year, the National Lottery said that over 600 grants have been made to project and communities across the isles.

The first lottery grant to a local project was one of £5,000 to the Shetland Folk Festival Society in 1994, while the largest ever made to the isles was worth £5.1 million to go towards building the Shetland Museum and Archives.

Other notable National Lottery supported projects in Shetland include the installation of renewable energy systems on Fair Isle and on Foula to provide a reliable power supply for the first time.

The National Lottery’s Jonathan Tuchnersaid: “It’s all down to local people who choose to do incredible things with National Lottery funding, changing their communities for the better, step by step. I look forward to what we can achieve together over the next 25 years.”


WITH springtime around the corner, Shetland Islands Council is asking property owners to get in touch if they think they might have a problem with nesting gulls in the coming weeks.

The council’s environmental health team can provide advice on how to prevent gulls from making nests and laying eggs. If gulls have nested and there are eggs on the property, council staff can remove the nest and eggs before they hatch.

Environmental health team leader Patti Dinsdale said: “If anyone has a problem with nesting gulls on their property, we’d be keen to hear from them as soon as possible.

“It is easier to take steps to prevent the nest being made in the first place but if necessary we can remove any nests and eggs that have been laid. Once eggs have hatched and chicks are in the nest, we are unable to do anything.”

For help and advice on nesting gulls contact environmental health on 01595 745250.


SHETLAND’s annual Battle of the Bands event has been confirmed to take place on Friday 22 March at the Lerwick Legion.

Organised by the Shetland Young Promoters Group (SYPG), the all ages alcohol-free event will celebrate its 10thanniversary.

Amongst the performers already confirmed for this year’s event are: Eamonn Watt’s One-Man Disco Band, Tea n Cake (sister duo Rhea and Heather), Scott Tomlinson, Scott Moncrieff and Lorraine Peterson with more bands to be added.

There will also be a couple of guest performances by local bands The Dirty Lemons and Delorean.

SYPG chairwoman Zdenka Mlynarikova said: “Battle of the Bands has been one of the group’s most popular events over the years. It’s a great way to encourage young people to form bands and for everyone to have a fun night of music. ”

Thickets for the event cost £7 and they will be available at the door, which will open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.


THE LATEST issue Shetland’s quarterly literature magazine New Shetlander is now on sale.

Its main themes are recollections and individuals from the past, but there is also a strain of controversy, past and present.

Olaf Paris was a Dutch photographer of bonxies and Shetland. He and his wife were well known locally in some parts of the isles in the 1950s and 60s. Linda Sutherland knew them from her childhood, when they visited Noss, and her article brings them to life.

Frank Manson of Hillswick continues his ‘Backward glances’ as he remembers growing up on a croft in the area. Affection runs through his article, for people, animals and the place itself.

New writers are always welcome in the magazine, and this issue brings the amusing short story ‘Snaa geen wrang’ by new contributor Lynda Peterson.


SHADOW chancellor John McDonnell has promised to put the energy network in public hands to help unlock the potential for renewable energy in the islands and across Scotland.

Speaking at the Scottish Labour conference, McDonnell said thousands of jobs could be created in Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles if wind and wave energy projects became a reality.

The MP also said that Labour also wanted to build a further 1,500 wind turbines across Scotland by 2030.

“Only by putting control of our energy network in the hands of the public with a mandate to cut through the short-sighted decision making of the privateers can we unlock the true potential of Scottish energy,” he said.