Martin Connelly (42) from Larbert can’t hide his pride at winning the Most Promising student in the Department of Applied Science, Maths and Mechanical Engineering at the FVC’s 2017 graduation.
He has gone on remarkable journey since being made redundant after 17 years as a machinist in the timber industry. At FVC he completed the Mechanical Engineering Pre-apprentice programme and progressed through an NC Engineering Systems, HNC Mechanical Engineering and PEO SVQ 2 and Processing of Hydrocarbons SVQ.
Martin, said: “I was very proud to receive this award and it was rewarding to be acknowledged for my effort and commitment. It was also humbling as I shared classes with some very intelligent guys who were always prepared to help me when required.
“During my time at college, I did not have a sponsor company. However, I started recently as an electrical engineering apprenticeship with Babcocks in Rosyth. I was made redundant and it was then I made the decision to return to full-time education and retrain for a new career.
"I decided engineering would be the best career path for me and began to look in to courses on the FVC website as this is the closet college to home.
“The facilities at the college are very good. They have excellently equipped workshops and classrooms as well as adequate access to computers, either in classes or at the Learning Resource Centre. The canteen has a varied menu and is reasonably priced and there is also a well-equipped gym which I regularly used. The lectures and support staff have been excellent. They have all be very supportive and full of encouragement.
“Obviously I have gained a greater knowledge of various engineering fields, but I have also vastly improved my IT skills and in general feel far more confident in my own abilities.
“By gaining various qualifications and becoming more self-confident, I feel that my time at FVC has most definitely helped me in gaining my apprenticeship with Babcocks.
“I would recommend the college to others as it offers a wide and varied course selection, excellent staff and in general, is the best place to be for anyone genuinely interested in changing career. The advice I would give new students is simply, if you put the effort in and have a good attitude then you will not be far from achieving your goals…and you are never too old!”
Anyone looking to find out more about Applied Science, Maths and Mechanical Engineering courses at Forth Valley College should call 01324 403000.