Date lodged: 21 December 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on on increasing the number of employment opportunities in transportation located in island communities.
Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 16 January 2019
Government agencies are currently major employers in the Western Isles.
HIAL looks to support employment within its local communities wherever possible.
Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) employ 118 people in the Western Isles and will continue to be a major employer in the area.
As part of the Air Traffic Management Strategy (ATMS) programme, HIAL are exploring options to allow Air Traffic Control (ATC) staff to retain their base on the islands and commute to the ATC Surveillance Centre, Inverness. This includes examining shift patterns to accommodate such remote working.
HIAL is keen to work with local stakeholders to promote vacancies in the area.
CalMac Ferries Ltd is also a major employer in island and coastal communities, currently employing 156 seagoing staff and 54 port staff who reside in the Western Isles Council area. CalMac work proactively with schools, at careers fairs and through their industry leading apprenticeship and cadet programmes to encourage local island based applicants for CalMac jobs, and to develop long-term careers.
In addition, to public sector employment in the transportation sector, there are many opportunities in the commercial logistics sector on island communities.