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Case study

Salford mum retrains as gas engineer thanks to apprenticeship opportunity

Mum-of-four Zoe Grimshaw was working as a painter and decorator and care assistant when she saw an advert on Facebook for an apprentice gas engineer opportunity with Liberty.

“I had always thought that apprentices were for school leavers and so at 38 I thought I was too old to apply”, Zoe said.

“When I found out that these opportunities weren’t just for younger people and I could fit it around my children I leapt at the chance.

“My dad was a gas engineer and made it sound like a fun career, and watching him growing up meant it was always an area I was interested in.”

Zoe started her two-year apprenticeship with Liberty in October 2019. She spends a day a week doing classroom learning with Liberty’s in-house training provider, the Liberate Academy, and four days gaining practical experience.

“I’m still doing care work at the weekends so balancing everything with being a mum can be tiring, but I’m excited to be learning a trade that I’ve always been passionate about,” Zoe said.

“It’s such a rewarding career and the support I’ve received has been invaluable.

“I was petrified at first because it was so new to me, but the training we get through Liberate and the engineers we are paired with to learn on the job gave me confidence in how to handle it properly.”

Zoe’s ambitions are to become a qualified gas engineer at the end of her apprenticeship and learn about different areas of the business.

“I’d recommend taking on an apprenticeship opportunity to anyone, and I’ve already encouraged lots of my friends and family to think about it and showed them how to apply,” Zoe added.

“I didn’t want to get to 60 and regret not having gone for the career I’ve always wanted, and an apprenticeship has enabled me to do this while also supporting my family.”

For more information on our apprenticeship scheme, click HERE.