Employment & Entrepreneurship
Employment on Fetlar - as with on many small islands - often consists of people having several part-time jobs to make up their income. As the population grows the number and variety of jobs will also grow as local provision is put in place to meet demand. In summer there are a number of seasonal jobs available in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
Visit the Shetland Island Council jobs page for a list of current vacancies.
Zoom imageFerry from Yell to Fetlar The imminent completion of the new breakwater and berthing facility at Hammers Ness will offer some significant possibilities in marine-related sectors. The ferry service will potentially be looking at recruiting more locally-based crew, if the ferry is to be based on the island and used to its maximum effectiveness.
There will also be the opportunity to base small fishing or workboats in Fetlar, something which has not been possible before due to the lack of a sheltered natural harbour. With a significant aquaculture industry working in the water between Yell, Unst and Fetlar, there are potential opportunities both for employment and for service provision.
A large area which will be created when material is extracted to provide infill for the new breakwater will offer possibilities for commercial development near the new pier.
Building and Construction
Zoom imageBuilding and construction opportunities There are further employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in the construction industry. A number of building and restoration projects are underway or planned for Fetlar, and there are possibilities for a number of new-build houses. A locally-based company would be well placed to take advantage of any work coming up, as at present all contractors have to travel into the island. For those with wider ambition there are always significant opportunities arising on the neighbouring islands which could prove a natural area of expansion.
Technology and Remote working
Fetlar is currently part of a broadband pilot project run by Shetland Islands Council to provide an island-wide wireless broadband network. The system has been running now for almost 3 years and, after only a few teething problems, has proved very reliable. The service initially provided a minimum 2Mb symmetric service to users but with a very low contention ratio compared with most commercial offerings. Lately the headline speed has been increased as part of the trial and users can now regularly get Download speeds of 6Mbps and upload speeds of 3Mbps. BT has also upgraded their broadband provision to provide an up to 8mb service. However due to the position of the exchange which is quite distant from most of the population, most residents will see much lower headline speeds.
A major upgrade to the pilot is due during 2013 and will offer a minimum of a 10Mbps symetric connection as standard with a 25Mbps connection also available as a higher cost option. Higher connection speeds may available for businesses at additional cost if required. This is possible because of Shetland Islands Council's connection to the Faroese fibre cable to Mainland Scotland and their commitment to roll out very high speed broadband to all communities in Shetland.
These new services mean that people can now work remotely, or run a business remotely, from Fetlar. In fact once the new pilot is in place it will have some of the best provsion in the country.If you have an existing business - or are developing your new business - you can do so effectively in Fetlar while still having the advantages provided by a tranquil rural location.
There are usually part-time and relief posts occasionally available in social care, and occasionally there are permanent positions. These permanent positions will require working outside Fetlar as well, depending on the care needs on island at the time.
Fetlar is a haven for visitors who come to the island for its marvellous wildlife and scenery. There are certainly opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop a variety tourism-related businesses on the island.
In August 2012 Fetlar Developments Ltd secured funding for the Fetlar Tourism Development Initiative, which included the creation of a part time Fetlar Tourism Devlopment Officer post. Kyle Sylvester took up his post as Fetlar Tourism Development Officer in early 2013 and will be actively promoting Fetlar as a tourism destination, as well as developing new markets and looking at ways of extending the current season. He will work closely with new and existing tourism ventures to support them in developing their businesses. You can find his contact details here.
Occasionally crofts do become available and Fetlar is one of the most fertile places in Shetland. However many parts of the island are covered by management agreements which restrict traditional crofting activities. There are other options as diversification away from the traditional ideas of crofting is supported by the Crofters Commission. Diversification could be a way of making at least part of your income from crofting.
If you are looking to start or develop your business in Fetlar there is a significant amount of support available. A good starting point for further information is move.shetland.org/start-a-business-in-shetland. On-island support is also available from the local Fetlar Development worker.
If you are looking for employment rather than to start your own business then we aim to provide details of employment opportunities as the become available on this website. The local development worker may be aware of any jobs which may be becoming available so please feel free to contact him.