Having left school with no qualifications, Kaci had no idea what she wanted to do with her life.
The 17-year-old, from Eccles, Salford, didn’t pass any GCSEs. After briefly attending college, she worked several part-time jobs, including in cafes, kitchens and offices.
“I quickly realised that traditional education didn’t interest me at all,” she said. “The jobs I worked didn’t suit me either.
“I didn’t have a clue what I wanted, but I was finding out what I didn’t see myself doing in the long-term.”
Despite struggling at school, Kaci wanted to pursue a professional career.
A relative told her about an apprenticeship programme with property services business Liberty.
The scheme was designed to give new opportunities for people to develop their career and attract a more diverse and inclusive workforce to the sector.
“It wasn’t something I’d even thought about before, but it sounded perfect for me,” she said. “The training was much more practical than school, with just one day a week at college. I just thought ‘you can’t knock until you try it.’”
Kaci’s application to become a heating engineer apprentice was successful. She started the job in October 2019.
“I absolutely love it,” she added. “It is exactly the kind of thing I wanted to do. I’m learning new skills in a great industry - and getting paid for it.
“Some people have perceptions that it’s a job for men, but it isn’t like that at all. As long as you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, it’s a job anyone can enjoy.”
The two-year programme at Liberty’s in-house training provider the Liberate Academy includes four days working onsite and one at college.
Kaci said: “A lot of the college work is done in the workshop. It’s great for me because we are doing our jobs rather than being sat at a desk all day.
“I would recommend the apprenticeship to anyone who feels more comfortable doing practical work than a classroom environment.”
She added that she had been made to feel at home by colleagues and was impressed by how many key decision-makers were female.
“It’s great to be at such an inclusive place to work,” Kaci said. “A lot of the senior management team and directors are women, which is inspiring as a young woman at the start my career.
“It’s something all organisations need to adopt. It shouldn’t be a novelty to see so many women succeeding in their careers. It should be the norm.
“At Liberty, we are all equal. Gender or ethnicity have no bearing on how well we do our jobs. It’s the way every employer should be.”
For more information on our apprenticeship programme, click HERE.