Jobs boost with 40 new positions announced

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Forty new jobs have been created in the Western Isles with twenty positions up for grabs in two different sectors.

At least 20 full-time jobs have been created at the Stornoway site of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) who are seeking applicants for a number of roles as debt management administrative officers.

And, elsewhere, 20 jobs will be created at the new events and leisure space at Lews Castle, Stornoway, with travel and leisure company Natural Retreats now recruiting for roles in catering, events and retail. An assistant general manager is also being sought.

It is welcome news for the isles and comes against the tide of a series of recent redundancies and job losses across the region.

Steve Hankinson, command manager at the Stornoway DWP office, insisted the news was a huge triumph for the local branch.

He said: “We cover the whole of the UK with regards to dealing with certain benefits. We are very busy and now in the position to hire 20 full-time staff or the equivalent with part time positions.

“There has been a real buzz in the office about this and it is good news for us all. We have had a business plan in place and we have been pushing hard to make this happen and it has paid off.

“We have very good staff already here and this is a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking for work.”

The DWP have set up a series of sessions at the Stornoway Job Centre over the coming weeks and they will also host information at the Nicolson Institute for school leavers.

For more information on the roles or to apply, visit

At the Lews Castle, the retail, cafe and special events areas are due to open in early June, with accommodation at the venue being provided later in the year.

Open daysto provide further details about the jobs will take place at An Lanntair arts centre, on March 16 and 17th, with presentations being made at 9.30am and 4.30pm on Wednesday and at 9.30am on Thursday.

The company say anyone interested in further details about the positions available should attend the open days.

Lews Castle is already listed on the company’s website as an ideal wedding location, their description says: “From beaches and crystal clear waters that rival luxury tropical islands, to its rich history and stunning scenery, this remote and spectacular destination in the Outer Hebrides is the perfect venue for wonderful memories.

“Overlooking Stornoway harbour, the impressive gothic-revival style castle was built in the mid 1800’s by Sir James Matheson. Since then this beautiful building has also served as a hospital during WW2, a college, a school and now as an iconic wedding venue and luxurious holiday destination.

“Our spacious rooms in Lews Castle offer the perfect place for both ceremonies and receptions. Filled with natural light, the venue is rich in culture and history with grandeur perfectly suited to such a special occasion.”

Pictured in the DWP building in Stornoway.