Ferechta, who is originally from Afghanistan, moved to France with her family when she was eight years old. Having completed their university degrees, Ferechta and husband Zabiullah, took the decision to move to England, settling in Hillingdon. “It was a bit of a crazy time,” explains Ferechta. “We graduated, got married and moved to England in the space of a few months.” Shortly after arriving, they visited Terminal 5. A friend had told them how amazing it was, so they wanted to see for themselves. “I remember saying to Zab, ‘one day we’ll work in a place like this with marble floors, surrounded by diamonds.’ A few weeks later, I heard about Heathrow Academy and went straight down to meet them” says Ferechta.

Ferechta met with Antoinette from the Academy Recruitment Team, who saw her potential and enrolled her on the Pre-employment Training course. Two days after completing the training, she had an interview with Bvlgari. “It all happened very quickly. The interview went really well and I started with them straight away. There I was in a marble floored shop and the first thing I sold was a diamond ring. I couldn’t believe it.” Zabiullah followed in her footsteps and both have worked at Heathrow ever since, with the Academy supporting their progression every step of the way. Ferechta has completed three apprenticeships through the Academy, the most recent of which was an Advanced Apprenticeship in Management. After three and a half years with Bvlgari she took an opportunity to advance her career with Watches of Switzerland where she now works as a Team Leader.

“The Academy Team have done so much for us as a family. We came here to find work and to build a future. They believed in us from the start and have given us so much opportunity to learn and develop in our careers. My graduation for my Advanced Apprenticeship was a very proud day for the family.”