Orkney and Argyll & Bute top the best places to live (and work) in Scotland

Stromness village in the Orkney islands

HOT ON the heels of the release of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide, Scotland’s dedicated job site, HiJOBS.net has crunched the data to reveal which of the featured rural locations are also delivering as best places to find a job and expect a wage rise.

Despite Dunkeld in Perthshire being ranked the top location in Scotland by The Sunday Times, when it came to job prospects, Orkney and Argyle & Bute stand out.  

According to the new data from HiJOBS, the number of positions advertised in Argyll & Bute nearly doubled between 2020 and 2022, while average hourly pay rates have grown nearly 20% in the past year with annual salaries up over 10%. Meanwhile, hourly pay rates for jobs in Orkney have risen by 17%, while annual salaries have leapt by 24%.

This was in contrast with Perthshire where annual salaries increased by just over 8% and hourly rates by 11% between 2020 and 2022.  

The Sunday Times annual guide takes into account factors such as the quality of local schools, shops, restaurants, broadband connections and transport links in identifying its top locations, but not job opportunities and wages.

Chris Snelgrove, Technical Director and Founder, HiJOBS said: “We founded HiJOBS on the firm belief that Scotland has some of the best places to live and work in the world. The Sunday Times selection shines a light on some of our country’s gems, and it’s great to see from our data that Argyll & Bute and Orkney have a lot to offer job seekers, with more jobs at better rates of pay appearing on the HiJOBS website.”   

Summed up as a “place for those who want to commune with nature but not live in complete isolation”, Tighnabruaich in Argyll & Bute, was voted one of Scotland’s Best Places to Live for its perfect blend of stunning scenery and plentiful local events and businesses. Locals enjoy views of the Kyles of Bute and the opportunity to swim with seals, while also having a full calendar of community activities and events. Day-trippers can head south to the Isles of Bute and Arran, or east to the bright lights of Glasgow.

For work, too, Argyll & Bute has increasingly attractive opportunities. With both numbers of jobs and rates of pay on the rise over recent years on job site HiJOBS, it’s thriving in more ways than one. Kames Fish Farming Ltd is recruiting Senior Husbandry personnel for their Loch Craignish site.

For those looking for something further ‘away from it all’, The Sunday Times highlighted Orkney’s “natural wonders”. A collection of over 70 mostly uninhabited islands, even Kirkwall’s High Street is stunning – named the most beautiful in Scotland in 2019. Orkney lifestyle appears to be rewarding in many respects – average pay for jobs listed on HiJOBS has soared over the past few years. Right now there are over 60 jobs listed on the site across the islands, ranging from Physics Teacher in Kirkwall to Pier Master in Rapness. 

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