Martin's interest in education began in the early 1980s as a youth worker in Liverpool and Leicester. Later, he spent 20 years working in cultural and heritage industries in the UK and Canada as a senior project manager. Examples of his work include the Red Bay National Historic Site in Labrador, Canada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Education was central to this work andMartin's broad role included training highly specialised artisans and co-ordinating educational, linguistic and cultural content with local communities. He returned to the UK in 2008 to work in academia.