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Case study

Croydon resident kick-starts gas engineer career thanks to Liberty apprenticeship

25-year-old Croydon resident, Liam Aherne, has been able to kick-start his career in the gas industry following property services business, Liberty, who deliver gas servicing and maintenance work for Crawley Borough Council.

Originally with a background in plumbing, Liam started his apprenticeship in 2018 with Liberty’s gas installations team. Over the next three years Liam got stuck in learning all there is to know about boilers and gas safety and has recently completed his professional training to become a fully qualified gas engineer.

Liam was put through his paces under the supervision of Shan​​e Riggs, his mentor at Liberty, as he built up his knowledge and expertise with a varied portfolio for his final ACS practical exam.

This hasn’t come without its struggles as COVID-19 made it harder to get experience of some specific job types that he needed for his portfolio.

Liam said: “The hardest part of it all is the portfolio side of things and given the current circumstances with COVID-19, it was hard to get specific types of jobs because some customers weren’t letting us in. It was a mission to get that done.”

Liam also spent time with Liberty’s servicing and breakdown teams to gain a broad knowledge and understanding of how gas servicing works.

Liam added: “When it came to the actual practical side of things Trevor Innard [Liberty’s Quality Auditor] set up an empty property with lots of faults for me to find and fix, and that really helped me as I didn’t know what to expect when walking into my ACS practical so it was good that I’d done that as it helped me get an image in my head of what to expect and how to approach things.

“For me personally, I want to broaden my knowledge on the breakdown and servicing side of things. It’s one thing installing a boiler and it’s something else learning how to fix a problem within a boiler.

“When you’re installing a boiler it’s brand-new so you know it’s going to work straight away. I want to branch off from that and learn the faults and how to fix them.”

Carl Himsworth, Contract Manager based in Crawley, said: “Liam is a huge asset to the Liberty team here in Crawley.

“He has shown dedication and professionalism in his work delivery and will make a skilful all-round engineer with the experience he has gained through his development programme.”