IT expert from Bedford has combined business skills with teaching to train next generation of workers

An IT supremo who came to the UK to study English has combined his business skills with teaching to inspire and train the next generation of workers.

Christian Nunez Fuentes, 43, from Bedford, has followed a path into teaching in response to a campaign launched by The Department for Education calling on those with industry experience to teach in further education.

Christian was brought up in Peru and, at the age of 22, moved to the UK to study English – learning the language from scratch. That led to a 13-year career in retail IT, initially as a technician and then as a business account manager and supervisor, in areas such as customer service, logistics and sales.

Deciding it was time for a change, in 2016 Christian set up his own web design company. At the same time he took a Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND) in computing and systems development at Bedford College. From there the Head of Computing at the College suggested he make more of his knowledge by teaching in FE alongside running his business.

Christian Nunez Fuentes, from Bedford, worked in retail IT before setting up his own web design company and then moving into teaching

It was an idea Christian embraced as part of his web business already involved tutoring.

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Since then Christian has become a ‘dual professional’, working four days a week at Bedford College alongside running his business, all while studying for his PGCE (teaching qualification) with the University of Bedfordshire.

Christian said: “Working as a FE teacher has helped me develop a diversity of skills. I have become more patient, more observant and more aware of how I teach and how I can directly impact my students’ wellbeing and success.

"As a parent I take great responsibility in my own children’s education, and I believe that every parent is a teacher even if they don’t perceive it as such. In a way, I see my students as a reflection of my own children, so I treat their education and development with the utmost care and pride.

“FE teaching is a great opportunity to change lives while still working in the sector you love. If you are interested explore the options available at your local college. You may be able to join as an associate on a part-time bases, to get a taste of FE teaching and then see if this is for you.”