An apprentice

04 July 2019

Kian Walsh is on his way to becoming a qualified boiler maintenance engineer with award-winning firm Sure Group. Kian is excited about the future, doing something he’s passionate about, but it might have been very different.

Kian WalshKian, 16, who lives with his mum and grandmother in a Guinness property in Clayton, near Manchester, started a five-month Sure Maintenance work placement last year to learn the basic skills of the profession. Kian impressed his workmates so much that Sure’s Managing Director, Pat Coleman, was keen to offer him a full apprenticeship, but all apprentice opportunities for the year had already been taken.

Sure carry out maintenance for Guinness homes all over the North West of England, with more than 15,000 properties in the Greater Manchester area alone. Sure is an important partner that helps Guinness deliver a great service to customers and helps make sure our existing properties continue to be great homes that everyone can be proud of.

Pat explained the opportunity he saw to make the most of Kian’s potential as a hardworking and talented apprentice, and asked if it would be possible for Guinness and Sure to work together to help support Kian’s apprenticeship training.

Pat said: “When Kian came to work for us he did really well. He was willing to turn his hand to anything, keen to learn and great with our customers. In short, he’s a great asset to us and is everything we want in an apprentice.”

Guinness agreed that Kian’s potential was too good to ignore, so worked closely with Sure to support Kian’s development as an apprentice. As a result, Kian has now started his apprenticeship, learning his trade with Sure Maintenance three days each week and from September will attend college two days a week.

Kian said: “Before starting my apprenticeship I was at school. When I got the chance to do an apprenticeship I jumped at it and it’s brilliant. There are loads of different things to learn and do.

‘I think the best thing about being an apprentice is being able to learn and gain qualifications while you’re earning a bit of money at the same time.  So far it’s given me the basics but things are always changing and there’s still much more to learn. It’s the best thing I ever did.”

Mark Moore, Head of Heating and Hot Water Services at Guinness, said: “We were very happy to work in partnership with Sure Maintenance to make this possible. Our vision is to improve people’s lives and create possibilities for them. In investing in Kian we are doing our bit to invest in skills that are vital to our communities today and in the future.”

If you’re looking to start an apprenticeship, keep an eye on our careers website. We advertise all available job vacancies there, including new apprenticeship opportunities.