From education to employment

It’s train to train for apprentice sparky Robbie

Five years ago, an apprentice electrician living in the Edinburgh area would have more than likely chosen to study at one of the local colleges. Fast forward to the present time and the implementation of the Borders Railway, and studying in the Borders has become just as viable an option for anyone living in and around the city.

This was the case for Robbie Neave, a junior electrical apprentice with John Noble Electrical, based in Bonnyrigg, Edinburgh, who is studying on the Electrical Installation Modern Apprenticeship programme, run by Borders College.

Robbie, who lives in Loanhead with his parents and brother, and started as an apprentice last year, decided to enrol on the programme after attending the College Open Day and being impressed with facilities on offer and the relaxed atmosphere of Borders life. The option of using the railway to travel was enough to make up his mind.

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 junior 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.

The course is also delivered on a weekly basis, as opposed to block release, and this suited Robbie in terms of flexibility and keeping in touch with his lecturers on a regular basis.

Asked about the course, Robbie commented:

“I looked at various colleges when first starting my apprenticeship and Borders College was the one which stood out for me. The relaxed atmosphere and excellent facilities, along with friendly and knowledgeable staff has made this place a great choice of study. But the big selling point for me personally was the availability of the railway for travelling. I also have a number of friends from my home area who are studying here, and who also use the railway on occasions so this a big bonus for me in terms of knowing people.”

Robbie plans to continue and complete his studies at Borders College and is looking forward to becoming a qualified electrician in the near future.

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