Five candidates will be interviewed this week in the search for a new principal at Shetland colleges.
A long list of candidates has already been whittled down by the council following interviews in Glasgow, said elected member Peter Campbell. He told a special college board meeting on Monday that “interviews will be taking place this week in Lerwick”.
The principal designate will head up the new, independent organisation formed by the merger of Shetland College, the NAFC Marine Centre and Train Shetland. The new entity was given the formal go-ahead at the end of last year.
Interim joint principal Willy Shannon was unable to make the meeting due to illness. But Mr Campbell took the opportunity to “express our thanks to Willy for the work that he has done”.
The announcement came following a merger update, with Ruth Campbell, project manager for the Shetland Merger Process, attending the meeting. She said the next steps are to focus on areas of the business case, including finance, HR, administration and marketing, and identify “areas of finance where we see growth potential”.
Shetland South councillor George Smith, who worked at Shetland College between 2006-11, said that “staff need to be as involved as they can be”, with councillor Theo Smith also stating there needs to be “as much input from staff as possible”.
In the absence of Mr Shannon, operations manager Rory Gillies provided an update, including the news that the students’ “green team” had a target to stop using single-use plastics at the Gremista college and the NAFC centre in Scalloway next academic year.
There was also high praise for the college’s recent performance, which Mr Campbell described as a “splendid piece of news”.
The college, given the top “very good” rating in a recent report, was listed highest for its attainment rates, retention rates and positive destinations out of 26 full-time further education colleges across Scotland.
Commenting on the 97.2 per cent score for positive destinations, Mr Campbell said: “You begin to wonder if they can go any higher.”
Staff and students at the college are “to be congratulated on what they have achieved over the last year,” added Mr Campbell.