Outer Hebrides

Outer Hebrides young people encouraged to complete survey

Young people across the Outer Hebrides are being encouraged to take part in a major new survey, which is underway.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has commissioned the study into the changing attitudes and aspirations of people aged 15 to 30 in relation to the Highlands and Islands, and wants to make sure the voice of young people in the Outer Hebrides is heard.

The online survey will build on a similar study carried out in 2015, which demonstrated an overwhelming sense of pride and confidence in the region among the 4,400 young people who took part.

This showed that young people in the Outer Hebrides are generally very positive about their islands and there is a strong commitment to their local community. They want to stay or return if they can. There are, however, significant constraints to young people doing so, or feeling able to do so, that apply across the Outer Hebrides, but particularly so in Uist and Barra.

The new study is exploring opportunities around education, training and employment for the age group, and how these can be maximised.

Those taking part can enter a prize draw, with prizes including tickets to Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival and Groove Loch Ness, as well as vouchers for Spotify and Netflix.

There have been more than a thousand responses to the survey so far, 91 of them from the Outer Hebrides.

Rachel Mackenzie, HIE’s area manager, said:

“Young economically active people are absolutely key to the future prosperity of our area and the Highlands and Islands generally. They are also crucial in the long-term sustainability of communities.

“This is an important study and we want to make sure the views of young people across the Outer Hebrides are properly represented in the study.

“The findings will be shared with all our partners and will help inform policy and activities in relation to both population growth and young talent attraction and retention across the region.”

Young people can access the online survey at www.hie.co.uk/yp-research . It takes around 15 minutes to complete and is running until the end of July.

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