Living in Scotland
English is the main language spoken in Scotland today, however there are a wide range of different languages, accents and dialects spoken across the country – Gaelic or British Sign Language being one of them.
In Scotland, we think that what you do for fun is just as important as what you do for work. Your average work week in Scotland is between 37 and 40 hours per week, with time allocated for lunch breaks. All of your hard work is then rewarded with a generous amount of paid holiday time – called Annual Leave – you’re normally entitled to at least 28 days per year although some companies may offer more!
Scotland has a whole host of amazing things to keep you fully occupied during your leisure time. During summer months we benefit from an average of 17 hours of daylight, meaning that even after a long day at work, there is still plenty of time to do the things you love.
You can find out more about what to do in your free time, simply visit the VisitScotland website.
Scotland has a strong economy and a reputation for allowing new industry sectors to emerge and thrive. As a result, job opportunities in Scotland are diverse.
So why work in Scotland? Here are a few key facts that will help you decide:
- Scotland has the highest employment rate of the UK’s four countries
- Highly regulated good working practices and conditions that safeguard employees
- High staff retention rates
- Accessible on-going education for all ages and languages
- Wide spectrum of industry opportunities, and at many different levels
- Rewards for motivation and hard work.
Moving to Scotland can be a painless process if you take the time to research and prepare for your application. Your priorities are likely to include finding a home, starting work, opening a bank account, registering with the doctor or even researching schools for kids.
The TalentScotland website can help you address all of these matters as well as provide information on organising a visa, arranging removals and storage and even making travel plans for your pets. You can also Contact Us for more information.
Living in Scotland is generally less expensive than many other areas in the UK – your weekly household costs can be 20% lower than in London and 10% cheaper than the UK as a whole.
Housing – Property prices are £200,000 on average and the average monthly rent is £537. (Prices depend on the type of property and the area you want to live in)
Food – The average household spends about £55 per week on food.
Home energy – The average household spend on gas and electricity is about £25 a week.
Water rates – Water charges are usually included in your council tax bill, you will find out more information from citizen advice.
VAT (Value Added Tax) – The standard rate of VAT is 20%. Some items such as children’s clothing and most food are zero rated, while VAT on home energy is 5%.
Concil tax – this is paid monthly on the property you are living in however the cost will vary depending the size, type and location of your property
Scotland’s reputation when it comes to weather is well-known... and slightly unfair! The weather in Scotland tends to be quite moderate and changeable, but is rarely extreme. You might experience “four seasons in one day”, but travel 20-30 minutes in any direction and the weather is generally completely different.
Regardless of the weather, there is plenty to see in Scotland and after all “there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes!”
Yes, your salary will be paid into your UK bank account. Your expenses like your mortgage, rent or other bills will be handled though your personal account so setting up one once you arrive in Scotland is your top priority.
In Scotland, the currency used is the British pound and although Scottish banks print their own versions of the pound, it’s also widely accepted in the rest of UK.
You can open a UK bank account by visiting your chosen branch, online or over the telephone. After completing an application to open a bank account, you’ll need to provide current proof of your identity and your Scottish address to the bank.
Mobiles and SIM cards can be purchased quickly and easily although some networks may require information such as residential address, date of birth and name.
Most major supermarkets offer a small selection to choose from but if you’re looking for more options to explore, you can visit one of the network service providers directly.
If you are coming from a European Union country, as long as you have a valid licence, you can drive any type of vehicle listed on your licence in Scotland.
If you are coming from outside of the European Union, as long as you have a valid licence from your own country, you can drive any small vehicle (eg car or motorcycle) in the UK for up to 12 months.
UK driving licences are issued by the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency
To make sure you and your family have access to health care in Scotland, you should register with a General Practitioner (GP) shortly after you arrive. You can do that by attending your local medical centre. Once you’re registered you will be able to make appointments for general medical problems, information about healthcare, advice on minor illnesses and vaccinations.
The NHS24 website allows you to search for local health services in your area