Business and community

Whether you have a new idea that you would like our input on or you would be interested in taking on a student to assist with a special project, we can help bring a fresh dimension to the table.

If you have an enquiry about Business development with Shetland College UHI then please contact us at


Health and care section

The Health and Care Section has good partnership arrangements with the care and early years' sector. Through the service level agreement with Shetland Islands Council (SIC) Social Work, Shetland College provides SVQ programmes to support over 120 candidates each year to meet their Scottish Social Service Council (SSSC) registration requirements. There are also partnership arrangements with SIC Housing and Education, NHS Shetland, The Childcare Partnership and Train Shetland to enable their staff to gain the required qualifications.

A good working relationship with NHS Shetland has made an Access to Nursing course available to Shetland students before they go south to do the nursing degree.  This partnership involves joint interviewing and Shetland College students having experiences of work placements in NHS Shetland, a vital part of the course.

SIC Social Work and Education, the voluntary sector and private nursing also support the courses provided by the Health and Care department by enabling good quality work experience placements for the Introduction to Care, Access to Apply for Social Work, National Certificate Early Education and Childcare, HNC in Early Education and Childcare courses. Over 60 work placements are provided each academic year.

IT project work

Our National Certificate, Higher National Certificate and Higher National Diploma programmes include elements where students must complete team and individual projects to expand and showcase their practical IT skills. These initiatives also help develop their communication, planning, design and testing knowledge and skills base.

We are keen to build links with organisations – large and small – to enable our students to assist you with a project that you might otherwise not have the resources to complete.

Business and hospitality section

Our staff and students have a long history of providing valuable business and hospitality services to industry, from market research to corporate catering for major events. We welcome the opportunity for student placements in businesses and the chance to showcase our staff and student talents by competing in and co-hosting major hospitality events. Please contact us if you would like to find out more on how we make it our business to try and help your business.



Shetland College UHI has a range of amenities including: a new Apple Mac suite; video conferencing facilities (recently refurbished to include new flat screen units, touch screen panels and ceiling-mounted microphones); as well as space within the fully-equipped Construction and Creative Industries sections that can be utilised for your business needs.


Construction section

The construction section has a Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) 860 router, which can be used on a commercial basis. The router would be ideal for the craft industry and could also be used to make a jig (or template); to rout your own joints or for complicated engraved designs in wood.

Textile facilitation unit

Our textile facilitation unit within the Creative Industries Section can also be accessed by businesses to enable new initiatives to progress and for research and development purposes. We will knit as little as three metres.

It is run by two highly qualified industrial textile technicians who takes students and clients through all stages of design, development and the production of knitted textiles, including garments.

The unit has three Shima Seki knitting systems (12 gauge Shima (model SIG 123 SV), 5 gauge Shima (model SES 122) and 7 gauge Shima (model SES 124)) and a range of finishing equipment.

A state-of-the-art computer system can visualise knitted structures and make instructions for knitting fabrics and jacquard fabrics, which can be developed from design ideas in discussion with our technician, from photos of your artwork or from traditional patterns where you own the copyright.

Recent examples include the development of new lace fabrics in 1 ply Shetland wool, the reinterpretation of an early Fair Isle pattern, contemporary textiles using mixtures of Italian and Shetland yarns, the development of knitted garments and very contemporary fine art textiles for university graduates.

Your first consultation with our technicians is free of charge (phone call, email correspondence or quick visit) and then there is an hourly rate for design development and programme patterns for use on the electronic knitting machines. With Shima Seiki dedicated software, patterns can be quickly adapted from design and knit programmes (Design-a-Knit). For complex, new or radically different work in smart textiles (yarns that conduct light and heat), or for garments in numerous sizes, several sessions will be required. Customers supply their own yarn but we can advise, if required.

Joan Fraser is one of several local textile producers who makes good use of the Shetland College Textile Facilitation Unit. Her website provides an excellent insight into the work of our textiles staff.

The Creative Industries Section visits international trade fairs such as Premier Vision in Paris and Pitti Filati in Florence to get up-to-date market intelligence on trends.