Budding trainee mechanic from Wisbech who left school without qualifications wins major adult learners award

10:25 30 May 2014

Sam Gowler. Picture: TIM ARNOLD

Sam Gowler. Picture: TIM ARNOLD

Tim Arnold

A man who left school with no qualifications has won a prestigious adult learners award.

Pictured at the Lighthouse Centre in Ely in the wheelchair is Brian Haynes from Perry with puppy Parker and his dog Beasley and some of the organisers and members of Canine Partners. Picture: KEITH HEPPELLPictured at the Lighthouse Centre in Ely in the wheelchair is Brian Haynes from Perry with puppy Parker and his dog Beasley and some of the organisers and members of Canine Partners. Picture: KEITH HEPPELL

Sam Gowler, 25, of Wisbech, has picked up the Learning Life Skills Individual Award in the East of England.

Life after school was tough for Mr Gowler - having no qualifications meant finding work was difficult.

But, in a bid to transform his life, he took the bold step of re-engaging with education.

He has worked hard to improve his English and maths and has enrolled at the College of West Anglia, where he is studying Motor Vehicle Maintenance.

He is now well on his way to fulfilling his lifetime ambition of becoming a car mechanic.

He said: “Learning to read has changed my life, as it has opened so many doors for me. The skills I have learnt and developed have greatly improved my job prospects and my confidence.”

Mr Gowler is one of a number of adult learners who are being recognised for their learning achievements as part of Adult Learners’ Week, which runs from June 14-20.

He is not the only success story from Cambridgeshire - a project run by charity the K9 project, which uses dogs to create learning opportunities for some of the most vulnerable people in the county, has won the European Social Fund Project Award.

Programmes run by K9 include a voluntary dog walking scheme, a 12-week group work programme and community-based family orientated dog training.

David Hughes, National Institute of Adult Continuing Education chief executive, said: “This year’s award winners have all made incredible achievements and their stories prove that learning at any age can be a step to better prospects.

“I hope their dedication and desire for a brighter future inspires others to examine their learning options and hopefully transform their own lives.”

To find out more about what is happening and how you can get involved, go to www.alw.org.uk

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