WHEN it comes to dedication to your studies there’s few that match Electrical Installations student James Aitken.
After relocating to the Highlands of Scotland, he continued to make the weekly 550-mile round trip to college.
“I could have said that I would just leave it but I wanted to continue what I had started,” said the dad-of-one.
Impressed by the quality of the teaching at the college and determined to complete the Level 2 course, he admits that it could be pretty tiring.
But James has never been a stranger to putting in the leg work, having previously balanced his studies around running his own business.
“Retraining as an electrician was something I had been thinking about for a few years and then I was made redundant in 2013,” he said.
Having previously worked for 13 years as an insurance consultant in a call centre, both he and his wife found themselves out of work when the centre closed.
Embracing the change and taking the opportunity to fulfil their ambition of being self-employed, they set about opening their own nursery business.
“I was only supposed to stay for a little while but I stayed for three years, doing the accounting,” said James.
“But I did eventually realise that this wasn’t what I wanted to do.”
Reigniting his own ambition of becoming an electrician, he signed up for the course at Stockton Riverside College.
Now with the qualification under his belt, James says it was well worth all the effort.
Offering him a strong basis to secure an apprenticeship in Scotland, he plans to now continue his studies at Inverness College.
As for the job, he said: “I love it. I have worked with a company up here for three weeks and it is exactly what I want to do. We are working out on estates our in the middle of nowhere. It is a beautiful place.”
While for some being made redundant would be the end of the world, James said: “Being made redundant gave me a massive kick up the backside to do what I wanted to do.”
Do you dream of retraining as an electrician? We still have places for our Electrical Installations courses starting in September. For details visit www.stockton.ac.uk/courses/electrical-installations/ or call 01642 865566 to talk about your options.