• Routine boiler repair turns into apprenticeship opportunity

Ali Merrouche, couldn’t believe his luck when a visit from an engineer to repair his parent’s boiler turned into the first steps in securing his position a Liberty’s newest apprentice.

Shashil Perkash was undertaking the repair work as part of our gas servicing and maintenance contract with Crawley Homes.

During the works, he learnt from the customer, that her son had just completed his NVQ levels 1 and 2 for plumbing but was struggling to find an employer that would provide him with hands on experience while he was continuing his qualifications.

She explained that Ali needed an apprenticeship but that it was a challenging time as no one was hiring because of the coronavirus pandemic.

During the conversation, Shashil began sharing his experiences working for Liberty and the flexibility and opportunities that are offered to staff. He suggested that Ali bring his CV up to date and encouraged him to send it to him so that he could share it with Liberty’s contract team.

Keeping to his word, Shashil forwarded Ali’s CV to Liberty’s contracts manager Carl Himsworth for Crawley Homes and they both agreed that he would be a good candidate for an apprenticeship with the team once a role became available.

In September 2020, this became a reality. An apprentice vacancy opened up and Ali was invited to an interview and was successful in being offered the job.

Ali said: “I couldn’t believe my luck when an appointment to get our boiler repaired opened the door for me to secure an apprenticeship with Liberty. It was a really difficult time over the summer to be doing plumbing qualifications. The practical experience I needed wasn’t easy to gain because of the pandemic.

“When Shashil told me about Liberty’s approach and offered to help me, I knew this was the kind of company that I wanted to work for and I’m so grateful to him for the support he’s given me. I’m now in a permanent role with Barry Fidler, who is an experienced engineer, as my mentor and getting the on the job experience I need to become fully qualified. I’m really excited for what the future holds working for Liberty.”

Councillor Ian Irvine, Cabinet member for Housing at Crawley Borough Council, said: “This is a great story and just shows that opportunity can knock when you least expect it! I wish Ali all the best as he embarks on his career working in our properties with Liberty.”

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