Allahgul Mohabatti, known as Ali, was shortlisted for the Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Apprentice of the Year in 2017.
Ali was just 11 years old when he came to the UK as a refugee from Afghanistan. He lived with foster carers who have supported and cared for him, however, he struggled academically. That struggle continued until he was 16. With poor English and Maths skills and no GCSEs, Ali was signposted to the Michaeljohn Training School in Manchester.
MJTS 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. MJTS 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 took place in the Training School, combined with support in salon with practical assessments. MJTS supported him throughout the eighteen months of vocational learning, and the subsequent level 2 hairdressing modules.
Today, Ali is a salon owner of Style Masters. With the support of MJTS, and the ongoing help of his foster parents, he has passed his British Citizenship test. Ali, along with peers in his group, have been providing free haircuts for the Manchester homeless community. 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 completed his level 3 qualification in February 2019. He now wants to return to MJTS to gain his teaching qualifications, share his skills and support a new generation of barbers and hairdressers.
Ali says: “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”
Ryan Rushworth of Michaeljohn said: “Ali is an amazing barber. He now has his own salon and has a great barbering reputation in Rusholme 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. Ali has been a great mentor and role model to younger apprentices by passing on his skills and knowledge.”