Borders College

Apprentice sparkies benefit from new course

Borders College has recently introduced a new course aimed at accommodating electrical trainees within the region and further afield.

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, and the College have recently welcomed their first students.

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.

This is the first time the College have run the delivery to adult apprentices. The course sees a merged group studying alongside each other, with the modern apprentices studying 85 days of year, attending one to two days per week initially, and the adults studying 29 days of the year, attending every second Tuesday.

The course content covers areas such as science, design, cable calculation and safety, and the use of modern learning technology, such as Microsoft Teams and One Note are used for teaching and collaboration.

Students from various backgrounds are attending, including students from the Lothian region, who use the Borders Railway to travel to College, as well as the first female apprentice electrician to study at Borders College.

Previous years have seen electrical companies send their apprentices to colleges out with the region and the aim of the setting up the course was to provide employers with an alternative option. An open day was held in April last year to showcase the course, with invitees such as Select and SECTT attending. Some excellent feedback was given, with positive comments on the facilities and the use of technology to help teach the course.

Niesha Clark, who works for CC Electrical in Galashiels, commented:

“There are more and more females coming in to the construction trade and my message to any woman out there who are interested would be, if you fancy learning a trade, go for it! This course has been very beneficial to me and the set up allows me to work full-time, while attending College 1 day every 2 weeks. The facilities and staff are great at Borders College and the support I have received has been excellent. I also feel, as an adult apprentice, I am more committed to learning.”

College lecturer Dale Clancy, who delivers the course, commented:

“We identified that there were a lot of learners from the region having to travel further afield in order to complete their apprenticeship. After good positive conversations with our partners we structured the delivery to help support the region and the local industry. We want to be a training centre on their doorstep that delivers what the contractors need and this is a positive step in that direction.”

The College hope to further develop this course in the near future and look forward to welcoming more apprentices from the region and further beyond.

If you are interested in the Electrical Installation Modern Apprenticeship programme run by Borders College or any of the other electrical courses on offer, click here.

Published: Fri 6th Mar, 2020