Dyslexic dad from Chatteris who was told at school he would ‘never amount to anything’ named among UK’s top three engineers
- Credit: Kath Sansom / CRC
A dyslexic college student from the Fens has been named among the top three engineers in the UK.
Greg Martin, who lives in Chatteris, was chosen from hundreds of entrants studying engineering at further education colleges across the country.
The 51-year-old says at school he was told he would never amount to anything. Despite this, he has gone on to become a successful technical and engineering manager.
The father-of-four is now urging people, of any age, to consider going back to the classroom to give it another go.
He has been awarded silver in the BTEC Awards - crowning him one of the best in the UK.
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Mr Martin said: "I am dyslexic, although that wasn't recognised as a thing in the 70s and 80s, so back then I struggled. I hated school.
"My teachers said I would never amount to anything. Four years later I was back in that school replacing all their old boilers as a qualified gas engineer."
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Greg left school in 1984, making his recent course with Cambridge Regional College (CRC) his first time back in the classroom for 35 years.
His son Lane, 14, helped him with the course as well as encouragement from his children Luke, 27, Lea, 15 and Larna, 12. He also had plenty of encouragement from wife Angie.
He added: "If I inspire one older learner to go back to college that will mean more to me than my silver award.
"I can't pretend, I was scared coming back to college, on the first day I thought what on earth have I done?
"However, the tutors were incredible and the whole thing became a team work exercise.
"Often I could help the younger ones out with my job experience of project management while they would help me with things I struggled with."
Fellow CRC student Rico Barbera, 29, of St Neots was also named in the top three, claiming the bronze award in the same BTEC ceremony.
Dr Omar Bassam, tutor of electrical and electronic engineering at CRC, said: "We are incredibly proud of these two students. They have worked very hard and the results are clear.
"To have two students from Cambridge Regional College win awards for BTEC Engineering Student of the Year, best one the country, is a real accolade for them and for the college.
"It is an achievement as it is a competitive award. It is always a pleasure to teach students like Rico and Greg and to be part of their progress and achievement."
Greg and Rico both studied HNC L4 BTEC Electrical /Electronic Engineering at Cambridge Regional College.
Greg added: "I want to tell anybody reading this never let anybody tell you that you cannot do something. You can do anything if you just put your mind to it."