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£250 PRIZE WINNER! Author of his own success

£250 PRIZE WINNER! Author of his own  success


11 Sep, 2017

… that’s Steve Higgs, our latest Quest quarterly £250 prize winner, who has put to excellent use the courses and funding available to him during and since his time in uniform. His pursuit of higher-level qualifications got him noticed while serving – and, now he’s left, his dedication to self-enhancement is still giving back, seeing him secure a high-ranking role at a top-flight engineering firm while also finding success as a published novelist alongside his day job. Steve tells us his story so far …

Ispent a little shy of 25 years in the Army, joining the REME in 1988 as an apprentice vehicle mechanic. The career I chose was one that demanded a level of continuous learning with abundant equipment courses, trade development courses and, as I was lucky enough to be selected for Artificer training, an HNC in Mechanical Engineering.

The opportunity to utilise learning credits was one I seized on early in my career, using the lesser Standard Learning Credits (SLC) to offset the cost of a bachelor’s degree in Technology, and to gain vocational qualifications such as IOSH Managing Safely and PRINCE2 for project management, as well as more academic qualifications such as GCSEs, which I had missed out on as a schoolboy.

To visit Steve’s author page on Amazon click on

I registered for Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) moments after they were announced, and knew instantly that I was going to spend every available penny on improving my knowledge and education for the benefit of my military career and to prepare me for what would come after.

I have no doubt that my visible pursuit of high-level qualifications, such as a master’s degree in Engineering Management, aided my promotion prospects while still in uniform and I advanced ahead of my peer group at every turn. However, there is benefit beyond the simplistic enhancement of one’s knowledge base, as the applied learning causes the student to continually search for more, to question the ‘why’ and to link ideas. In so doing one can achieve a deeper understanding of business drivers, so learning becomes understanding and studying for exams transforms into innovating for profit.

My education has of course not stopped with my exit from the Forces and exhaustion of ELC funds. You should be prepared for this too. I had planned for a career in logistics and distribution, but once employed discovered knowledge gaps where my staff knew more about basic work-related subjects or had more pertinent qualifications at a lower level than I. To correct this, over the past few years I have added several new qualifications, chief among which are the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, and the CPC Road Haulage Association Operators Licence, which allows an individual to operate a haulage fleet. Both of these underpin my role as director of production at a multi-million-pound engineering firm in the south-east.

Connect with Steve at

There is a recent addition to my portfolio, which harks back to what I was trying to put across above, about benefit beyond the simple enhancement of one’s knowledge base. In June, I achieved a long-term goal and became a published author. My first novel, entitled Paranormal Nonsense: Blue Moon Investigations Book 1, is available in Kindle or paperback format from Amazon, and will very soon be released as an audio book too. It’s a crime-comedy, which has thus far received nothing but five-star reviews. My second book is also nearing completion and is set for release before Christmas, and I have been invited to contribute to an anthology of zombie stories with my own unique crime-comedy spin.

I was able to achieve this only because I applied myself to do more than I had to, avoided coasting and really challenged myself. I hope you find the effort to do the same. Good luck!

Could you be our next quarterly £250 prize winner? To find out how to follow in Steve’s footsteps, click here where you can find out more and download a copy of the Quest Questionnaire. We look forward to hearing from you …

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