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Nathan Pitt is 44 years old and studying a one-year Higher National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering at Sussex Coast College Hastings.

Taking advantage of the then-new 24+ Adult Loan initiative, Nathan joined SCCH in 2013 to undertake a full time Level 3 Engineering course. His background had been in a variety of jobs but he was determined to improve his prospects, for the benefit of his family and his own health.

‘This was the first time I have been able to ‘better’ my employment and I didn’t want to waste it’ says Nathan. ‘My entire employment history, from the age of 15, has been non-skilled work, and at the age of 44, with a son starting his GCSEs and my two daughters commencing their jaunt into education, I thought my brain could do with a workout and going to college would also motivate my kids to study harder at school.’

Having a very enquiring mind he decided that Engineering would be an interesting and useful subject to study - and it was definitely the right choice.

It quickly became clear that Nathan’s mathematical skills were of a high standard and his willingness to learn beyond the course content meant that he was constantly pushing himself forward.

‘The largest obstacle was retraining my brain. For years I have been learning ‘on the job’ and this was the first time in 29 years I would be back in the classroom’ says Nathan.

‘This approach led to him basically requesting more work from us’ says tutor Paul Nash. ‘It was suggested to him that a better way may be to have a go at the extended units a year early and see how he got on. This enthusiasm to learn was infectious, inspiring the younger members of the class, one of whom decided to also 'have a go' at the extra work.’

Nathan completed the additional units ahead of time and it was suggested that he might like to consider going straight on to an HNC as a mature learner in 2014.

Meanwhile, he was successful in obtaining a post in Computer Aided Design and has progressed onto the HNC whilst still in employment. He has also had the experience of developing a shower for wheelchair bound people which is now going to be manufactured from the technical specifications and rendered drawings he created.

Nathan concluded, ‘Prior to this course I had never used CAD or considered a job in Engineering. I enjoy the way this course has changed my view to a positive ‘can do’ attitude.’

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