Ali from Kurdistan, Account manager
Studied: Entry Level Certificate in ESOL, BTEC Entry Level 3 Award in Public Services, BTEC Entry Level 3 Award in Sport and Active Leisure (2012), Level 2 Diploma in Women’s Hairdressing (2013), Level 3 Diploma in Women’s Hairdressing (2013), at Leicester College
Now: Account Manager for Dior, Debenhams department store, Leicester, UK
When Ali Kadiri arrived from Kurdistan, he was just 15. He hadn't taken any GCSEs; he'd left school before he could sit his leaver's exams.
A few years on, in 2014, Ali got a job as account manager for Christian Dior at the major department store Debenhams in Leicester in the UK, beating 200 people to the post – a success he attributes in a large part to his UK education.
‘Leicester College helped me build my career and made me realise that I am someone and can be someone in the future,’ Ali says.
Supported by his foster carers in the UK, Ali applied to Leicester College and enrolled in an entry level ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) course.
After completing his English course, he quickly progressed to other areas of the college. He gained qualifications in uniformed public services and women’s hairdressing.
Throughout his studies Ali showed his determination to succeed by juggling his college work with employment at Debenhams in Leicester and at the hairdressing company Supercuts.
‘I studied at Leicester College for four years and I enjoyed it,’ Ali says. ‘The staff are always there to help you out. I improved my English and my confidence through taking part in charity work and climbing trips organised by the Learner Engagement and Enrichment Team at the college.’
Ali completed his studies at Leicester College in 2014 and was awarded the ‘Best Stylist’ trophy from his Level 3 Hairdressing course.
He now manages a team of five staff at Debenhams.
‘Since I came to England, everything has changed and I have a new life,’ Ali says.