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Case study

National Apprenticeship Week 2023: Supportive friends and colleagues help Georgia find her way and succeed

After finishing secondary school, Bargoed local Georgia Gibbings wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. Although classmates around her were applying to university, the now 22-year-old, who has her birthday during National Apprentice Week, knew it wasn’t for her. “I’ve always known I much prefer hands-on tasks,” she said. She has now almost finished her plumbing apprenticeship and aspires to develop her skills in gas heating.

When she left Heolddu Comprehensive School, Georgia started at Ystrad Mynach College to train for her Level 1 and 2 in plumbing, but struggled to get jobs that gave her the experience she needed and ended up doing factory jobs. Nothing had felt quite right, so she took the plunge to go back to her old college in 2020.

This time, Georgia’s first work placement gave her a taste of the practical work she enjoyed doing, but it still wasn’t quite aligned with the skills she needed to demonstrate for Level 2 of her plumbing NVQ.

After talking it over with her friend and now fellow Liberty apprentice Ethan, Georgia realised that Liberty, who has a regional office in Cardiff, could offer what she was looking for. “A lot of companies want fully qualified plumbers, it can be hard to start out. But Liberty is great for offering places for apprentices and I’d really recommend them.”

Liberty currently has over 80 staff on an apprenticeship across their nationwide property services company and helps train apprentices of all ages, from school-leavers to job-changers.

Georgia began her apprenticeship with Liberty in August 2022 and hasn’t looked back. “The team here is brilliant. I can’t fault Liberty – they are so supportive and make sure I am getting all the experience and help I need.”

“I was nervous at first about doing new and unfamiliar things – such as visiting people’s homes – but you’re never on your own. The people are my favourite thing about the role, they are so supportive and helpful. They’ve really looked after me and now I feel comfortable and really settled.”

Georgia is also encouraged by the other women she sees in the company. “I was the only girl in my plumbing class at college. I know it’s changing, but it’s great to see women in top roles at Liberty.”

She has been able to gain real-life experience and learn the technical skills she needs and hopes to qualify as a plumber in the next six months.

But Georgia, who still lives with her parents, knows she won’t stop there. She now plans to grow her skills and learn the gas trade, saying: “I have a friend who’s learning gas, and she’s made me excited to do that next.

“I am so grateful the opportunity at Liberty came up when it did and for the support my colleagues show me. I am excited to see where my career in the heating and gas industry will take me next.”

For more information on our apprenticeship programme, click HERE