Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
146 Bolton Road
Tel: 0161 736 5866
For a FREE Home Safety Check please call:
CHRISTIAN Krebbs moved to the UK from Zimbabwe aged just 16 to be near the rest of his seven siblings who had left the country.
After giving up a BTEC in Business Studies the talented footballer was recruited to the Oldham Athletic Academy.
Despite showing promise Christian left the academy frustrated by a life which was "football this and football that."
But Christian doesn't regret missing out on a career as a footballer, in fact he says "I'd rather be an Apprentice Community Safety Advisor - it's a fantastic job."
Christian first came into contact with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service after seeing an advert for the Prince's Trust in his local job centre.
He was on Job Seekers Allowance working just eight hours a week at Next, struggling to make ends meet.
He said: "I was working at Next doing eight hours a week and claiming JSA when I saw a poster for the Prince's Trust on my advisor's desk, so I pestered and pestered her!
"I got involved with the team and ever since then I just wanted to work for the fire service."
Before finding the Community Safety Advisor Apprenticeship Christian had completed an apprenticeship in shop fitting, but the construction boom burst and he couldn't find a job.
After spending time shadowing a community safety advisor in Manchester Christian jumped at the chance to apply for the apprenticeship.
And he says coming from a big family has helped him in his new role.
"I come from a very big family so the social network is very wide. I'm used to talking to so many people.
"There are some situations where my background makes it easier to speak to different communities because my culture is similar to theirs.
"Every day is a new challenge and I enjoy the fact that I'm helping people regardless of how vulnerable they are.
"It's made me see a lot more than I did before because you get to go to different places where you see poverty or people really suffering.
"It makes you appreciate what you have. It makes you feel like giving up five minutes of your time to help them is worth it," he said.
Christian has his heart set on a role with GMFRS in the future, but believes his apprentice has given him the skills to be successful anywhere he goes.
He said: "I'm hoping to become a full community safety advisor, but if it doesn't work out then we learn a lot and I can take it on board and move on and take those skills wherever I go.
"I would say to anyone thinking of applying to an apprenticeship to go for it and give it 110 per cent.
"There are not a lot of opportunities for young adults these days especially since the recession. In an apprenticeship you're learning at the same time as working so you can get the experience you need."