News round-up / Ferry to depart early, Up Helly Aa goes academic, women’s aid legal aid project and apprenticeships celebrated

NORTHLINK is making changes to its timetable on Wednesday night in preparation of a windy spell forecast for the middle of the week.

The passenger vessel Hjaltland is now due to depart from Lerwick an hour ahead of schedule at 4.30pm with arrivals both at Kirkwall and Aberdeen expected to be delayed.


The northbound Hrossey is meanwhile expected to run close to timetable with only minor delays.

The departure of the southbound freight vessel Hildasay has been brought forward by two hours to 4pm, while the sailing of the northbound Helliar is under review.

A full weather forecast with detailed wind and wave charts can be found at https://www.shetnews.co.uk/weather/ 

SHETLAND born lecturer in public sociology at Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University, Karl Johnson, has published a short scientific paper on the gender issue in Shetland’s best known Up Helly Aa festival.

His paper Fuel for the Fire: tradition and the gender controversy in Lerwick’s Up Helly Aa was published in the November issue of Scottish Affairs, an academic journal on contemporary political and social issues.


In his 13-page paper Johnson concludes that “Up Helly Aa in its present form – specially Lerwick’s celebrations – reinforces a gendered division of labour, harbours misogynistic or at least sexist attitudes, and limits the opportunities and representations of women and girls in Shetland”.

The full article can be read free of charge at https://eresearch.qmu.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/20.500.12289/9968/9968.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

SHETLAND Women’s Aid group is participating in a year long Scotland wide project aimed at improving access to legal services for survivors of domestic abuse.


Scottish Women’s Aid said women and children struggle to access legal aid, and when they do, solicitors often have no grasp of the dynamics of domestic abuse and can sometimes offer inappropriate, harmful advice.

Chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid Dr Marsha Scott said: “The fact that women and children who have experienced domestic abuse struggle to access the support they need, at the appropriate time, is causing more harm and contributing to their continued suffering.

“Despite political rhetoric promising systematic change, existing structures for delivery of justice in Scotland obstruct the change promised.”

The project, funded by the Legal Education Foundation is aimed to help Scottish Women’s Aid to develop the most affordable and effective model for placing specialist legal aid lawyers in a number of women’s aid groups.

Some of the apprentices who have completed their qualifications. Back row (left to right): Elena Johnson, Adam Johnson, Craig Coutts, Shane Johnson, Scott Irvine, Kerrie Jamieson, Corinna Hoseason. Front row (left to right): Christopher Giblin, Nicole Craigie, Rebecca Bird, Lynsey Rendall, Rhona Tait, Patrick Nicolson. Photo: Ben Mullay.

APPRENTICES, employers and Train Shetland celebrated the achievements of 73 young people who have completed their qualifications with 28 local firms during the annual awards night last Friday.

Apprentices achieved nationally recognised qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) or a diploma in a wide range of subjects ranging from accounting construction and childcare to sustainable resource management.

Train Shetland currently works with employers across the isles, with the most popular apprenticeships in health and social care, construction and business administration.

Chair of Shetland College board Peter Campbell said: “I’d like to congratulate all these apprentices for completing their qualifications and wish them well for their future careers.

“They’ve been able to stay in Shetland and achieve qualifications in their chosen discipline whilst gaining work experience. I have no doubt that they will each make a valuable contribution to local workplaces and businesses in the future.”