Crawley teen secures apprenticeship after fuel engineer visits dwelling to do boiler restore

A Crawley teenager couldn’t believe his luck after securing an education during the lockdown after a Liberty engineer visited his parents’ home to fix a boiler.

Gas engineer Shashil Perkash completed the repairs in June under Liberty’s gas service and maintenance contract with Crawley Homes.

While working, he learned from the client that their son Ali Merrouche had just completed his NVQ levels 1 and 2 for plumbing but was having difficulty finding an employer who could provide him with hands-on experience while he continued his qualifications.

She explained that 19-year-old Ali needed an education, but that it was a challenging time as no one was hired because of the coronavirus pandemic.

During the interview, Shashil began sharing his experience at Liberty and the flexibility and opportunity offered to employees. He suggested Ali update his resume and encouraged him to send it to him so he could share it with Liberty’s contract team.

Shashil kept his word and forwarded Ali’s résumé to Liberty’s contract manager Carl Himsworth for Crawley Homes. Both agreed that he would be a good candidate for team training once a role became available.

Ali Merrouche

This became a reality in September 2020. An apprenticeship position was opened and Ali was invited for an interview and managed to offer the position.

Ali said:

“I couldn’t believe my luck when an appointment to repair our boiler opened the door for me to get an apprenticeship at Liberty. It was a really difficult time to get a plumber qualification in the summer. The hands-on experience I needed wasn’t easy to get because of the pandemic.

“When Shashil told me about Liberty’s approach and offered to help me, I knew these were the type of company I wanted to work for and I am so grateful for the support he has given me. I am now in a permanent position with Barry Fidler, an experienced engineer, as my mentor and am gaining the professional experience that I need to become fully qualified. I am very excited about the future of Liberty. ”

Councilor Ian Irvine, Cabinet Secretary for Housing, Crawley Borough Council said:

“This is a great story, and it just goes to show that opportunity can knock when you least expect it! I wish Ali all the best as he begins his career with Liberty. “

During this National Training Week, Liberty is committed to ensuring that five percent (that’s around 50 percent) of its workforce are trainees.

They currently have 52 trainees on board and Liberty is part of the 5% Club, a dynamic movement of employers committed to building and developing the workforce they need as part of a socially mobile, prosperous and cohesive nation.

Liberty provides daily gas repairs, annual safety reviews and after-hours work, and scheduled boiler and heating system replacements for the Crawley Borough Council housing stock.

This is delivered through an 11 year contract worth £ 34.3 million. The contract started in early 2019.

Liberty specializes in the full spectrum of real estate services, including reactive and scheduled maintenance in all technical disciplines, refurbishments, mechanical and electrical projects, construction and renewable energies.

More information is available at