Celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, Borders College has been hearing from former students who have gone on to great things.

Currently the Managing Director at Barrie Knitwear in Hawick, Jan Young’s career has spanned over 40 years, working in various industries, and she credits Borders College with giving her the foundation to become a leading figure in Scotland’s textiles industry.

She began her studies with the College in the 1980s and early 1990s, studying HND Textiles and HND Business. While working at Lyle and Scott in Hawick in the late 1990s, she attended Northumberland University, gaining a CIPD degree.

Jan said: “Attending Borders College was the start of my educational journey. It helped me to develop my career professionally and functionally, while working full-time and balancing my family life. Gaining the qualifications also created opportunities to work in various departments and functions across each of the businesses I have been involved in.”

Prior to her current role, Jan worked as an HR Manager and Business Partner with General Mills, and as an HR Manager at Barrie Knitwear. With a robust skill set that includes Human Resources, Personnel Management, Employee Engagement, Employee Relations, Talent Management and more, Jan contributes valuable insights to the industry.

Jan has a real passion for textiles, an industry once again growing in the Scottish Borders after years of decline.
Talking about the opportunities available, she said: “There are multiple opportunities across various sectors from creation, technical, handcraft and all the functional support, including planning and procurement, finance, commercial, health and safety and HR, as well as sustainability and CSR.”

Talking about her career, Jan added:
“I have always considered where I am today, built on my self-awareness and found a good mentor to support my journey. Having a good educational foundation is also important, and studying at Borders College was a key part of my journey.
“Be aware that you will make mistakes along the way in your career, and you may try things that are not for you. However, with every move you make, you can adjust and take responsibility for your own destination, which in turn will create opportunities.”