Changing career and returning to education as an adult can be an unnerving experience for many people, but for one adult electrical apprentice, the opportunity to work as an electrician and study on the new Electrical Installation Modern Apprenticeship programme at Borders College was just the opportunity he was waiting for.

Craig Thomson, who is 31 and from Preston Pans, has just enrolled on the programme after deciding to give up his previous career as a railway engineer. The dad-of-one, who works for Edinburgh based company CableCom, made the life changing decision to become an electrician after sitting down with his partner and setting out a 4 – 5 year life plan.

During an 8 month period between working on the railway and starting his new career, Craig set up a taxi business to help support his income. As the business grew, an opportunity came up for a position as an adult trainee electrician with CableCom and Craig jumped at the chance.

The training programme on offer at Borders College was a great way for Craig to learn his craft and he was impressed with facilities on offer, as well as the enthusiasm and teaching qualities of the staff.

After collaborative working with training partners and employers, the Electrical Installation Modern Apprenticeship programme was adjusted to help support contractors in the Scottish Borders and surrounding areas.

With a mix of modern and adult apprentices, the course is delivered in a traditional apprenticeship style, as well as incorporating a distance learning element, and a new online delivery system was set up to accommodate this.

Craig’s early days saw him train as a bricklayer after leaving school so he’s no stranger to the construction industry. His achilles heel however, is in the use of technology, and computers in particular but he is managing overcome this with the help of his lecturer Dale Clancy.

Craig commented:

“I’m really enjoying getting back in to education and this course has been great in terms of learning and giving my confidence a boost. As an adult apprentice there are different challenges you face compared to being a young apprentice but I believe studying later on in life also has its benefits, including having a better overall mentality.

“Borders College has excellent facilities and very supportive teaching staff and I would definitely recommend this course to employers and staff in the local and surrounding areas.”


Craig hopes to continue his education and become a fully qualified electrician in the near future. He plans to develop his career in the electrical industry, while continuing to run his taxi business.

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