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The Asian Apprenticeship Awards 2019

From Refugee to Apprenticeship Success

Those shortlisted for the Asian Apprenticeship Awards have very diverse backgrounds and experiences.  Among them are young people who have overcome a challenging early life to thrive in their chosen career.

Allahgul Mohabatti, known as Ali, was shortlisted for the Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Apprentice of the Year in 2017. He was only 11 when he came to the UK as a refugee from Afghanistan. He went to live with foster carers who have supported and cared for him, but he struggled academically.

Aged 16, with poor English and Maths skills and no GCSEs, Ali was signposted to the Michaeljohn Training Academy in Manchester. The Academy is a long-established provider with a national reputation for its hairdressing and barbering training. Ali started on a nine-week programme which was designed to support him in his basic skills and provide a route into employment. The Academy found a local employer, Friends Barber Shop, who was looking for an apprentice, and Ali took his first steps into the world of barbering.

Having successfully completed his traineeship he went on to study for an NVQ level 2 in barbering. The majority of the training was carried out in the Training Academy, with support in salon with practical assessments. Michaeljohn supported him throughout the eighteen months of vocational learning, and the subsequent level 2 hairdressing modules.

Still employed at Friends Barber Shop Ali is now working towards a level 3 in barbering. With the support of Michaeljohn and the ongoing help of his foster parents he has passed his British Citizenship test. He has also been keen to share his learning experience, and recently made a speech at the Association of Employment and Learning Providers conference.

Ali’s ambition is to complete his level 3 qualification and then return to Michaeljohn to undertake his teaching qualifications in order to support a new generation of learners.

Ali said: “Without Michaeljohn I would not have anything like the kind of career I have today. They have supported me both in my Apprenticeship and with personal things like getting my citizenship. I cannot thank everyone at MJTS enough and cannot wait to pass my skills on to the next generation”

Michael Conroy of Michaeljohn said: “Ali is an amazing barber. He now manages the salon for his employer and he has a great reputation on the Curry Mile in Manchester, with a host of loyal customers. He is still only 20, but he is amazingly motivated and I have no doubt that he will continue to succeed in his career.”

Nominations are now open for British Asian Apprentices, their Employers and Learning Providers. See full details here https://asianapprenticeshipawards.co.uk/nominations-2018/