AN INFANTRY soldier made redundant after leaving the forces is celebrating making a career technological breakthrough.

Sam Harrison, of Barry, is making his name in the competitive IT world and now wants to help encourage others to make a change as part of a Welsh Government and NIACE (National Institute of Adult Continuing Education) campaign New Year, New You.

Sam took on an apprenticeship in vehicle mechanics, after four years as a soldier, but was made redundant aged 22 and left wondering what to do with his future.

24-year-old Sam said: “The Army was the making of me.

“It taught me to grow up from a naughty school boy who messed around and didn’t go to classes.

“But it took about two years for me to adjust. I was used to getting up at the break of dawn, and the discipline. After that went, I felt really lost.”

Sam took a job as a care worker and then heard about a computing course at Cardiff and Vale College.

He soon completed a Level Two Diploma, despite having no IT qualifications, and was achieving so many Distinction grades he was able to bypass the Level Three course – going straight into an HND in computing in just a year.

Sam works four days a week as an IT Coordinator Apprentice at MPCT military training academy at Cardiff Gate, studying at college once a week.

He said: “I love IT because no day is the same. “In many ways, that’s like the Army.”

He added: “I’m glad I went into the army before I went to college as it gave me so many skills and taught me that failing is not an option. It also became this safety blanket , you always had food in your stomach and something constructive to do, and I found myself struggling to identify with friends who had been to college, and wondering what I could do next.

“But there’s life after the army and there’s always something new to learn. I like to think I’ll never stop learning.”