Local News for Wednesday 19th December 2018


Modern Apprenticeship (MA) opportunities with ferry operator CalMac have more than doubled over the past two years.
As part of the Scottish Government's 'Year of Young People' CalMac has focused recruitment efforts on creating new opportunities for school leavers across the communities it supports.

It now employs 23 MA's across Deck, Engineering, Retail and Port Operation roles, a 130% increase in youth employment opportunities with the company since 2016.

The majority of the increase has come from new MAs the company has set up to help improve the flow of skilled workers for the future, the company also sponsored 11 officer cadets over the past year bringing the total number currently in training for a career at sea to 28.

In addition to formal training opportunities CalMac also set up 10 school work-placements at offices across the network to give young people a taster of what working with the company is like.

Every MA taken on last year has successfully moved into full time employment with the company.


With Christmas fast approaching and everyone eagerly anticipating their Christmas Day meals, drivers are being urged to take a break after eating before they get behind the wheel over the festive period.

New research released has revealed that a staggering 87% of people are set to experience a Christmas ‘food coma’ – suffering from adverse effects after eating large, heavy portions over Christmas Day.

53% of drivers will drive after eating on Christmas Day, with the study highlighting the greater risk of slower reaction times and falling asleep at the wheel.

While motorists are conscious of the need to avoid alcohol altogether when planning to drive at Christmas, drivers are far less informed when it comes to the effect that eating can have on reaction times. In fact, only a quarter of drivers are inclined to eat smaller portions of Christmas dinner if taking to the road.


Rachel Sermanni, Emma Pollock, The Sea Atlas and Ceitlin L R Smith are to headline an evening of ‘songs and stories for the darkest hours’ at An Lanntair on 15 February 2019, as part of the first Hebridean Dark Skies Festival.

Whatever Gets You Through The Night is a one-off Hebridean version of an award-winning multi-media project created in 2012 by Olivier award-winning theatre director Cora Bissett, playwright David Greig and the band Swimmer One. Whatever Gets You Through the Night drew together specially commissioned material by over two dozen Scottish songwriters all of whom were invited to write something set between the hours of midnight and 4am.

The An Lanntair show – created exclusively for the first Hebridean Dark Skies Festival – will feature Emma Pollock and Rachel Sermanni, both participants in the original plus Lewis band The Sea Atlas, and singer Ceitlin L R Smith, who will perform a series of Gaelic night-time songs throughout the evening.

The evening is curated and introduced by Andrew Eaton-Lewis from Swimmer One, a core creative team member on the original project, who moved to the Hebrides in 2018 and currently divides his time between working for An Lanntair and developing new arts projects for the Mental Health Foundation.