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Ali’s move from Afghanistan to Belfast makes his dream career a reality

Ali Main

Published: 29 September 2020

Thanks to tutor support and some hard graft, Belfast Met’s Skills for Industry graduate Ali Yasir Jalla, 18, has been able to fulfil his ambition to get into engineering and has been able to kick start his career since arriving in Belfast from Afghanistan as a refugee three years ago.

After successfully completing his Skills for Industry programme, Ali moved on to join the Belfast Met’s Training for Success programme and start his Level 2 in Fabrication & Welding qualification and was fortunate to get a work placement at KME Steelworks Ltd in Lambeg. He has since excelled in his placement and after only being placed for a few months has now been offered employment with KME and an apprenticeship to complete his level 2 in Fabrication & Welding, with a view to moving on to complete his Level 3 qualification with them.

Stephen Venables, Production Manager at KME Steelworks Ltd said,”Ali came to us as a bright, articulate and extremely positive individual, who was enthusiastic to learn and to fit in. He has excelled in his welding and fettling and produces high quality parts at all times. We were keen to help Ali integrate into Northern Ireland and he has been able to socialise further with our team. He is a very welcome addition to the KME team, and we look forward to supporting his progress throughout his apprenticeship.”

Ali said about the support he has received, “When I first came to Northern Ireland everything was new to me and it was the Skills for Industry programme that really helped me on my career pathway to success. I really appreciate how my tutors helped me in so many areas, and I always felt comfortable to ask for help with anything I was struggling with. I have made lots of new friends on the courses and am able to work in a field that I am passionate about.

“I wouldn’t have been able to get into my dream career without his support and getting onto the Level 2 course and I especially enjoy how I am able to do meaningful work using metal. I now work three days a week and have learnt so much, and I really appreciate this opportunity I have been given with KME to improve my skills and gain practical work experience.

“I would really recommend the Skills for Industry and Training for Success programmes at Belfast Met as they have really helped me to develop a deeper understanding of engineering and given me great job prospects.”

Kathryn Stewart, Centre Skills and Apprenticeships (CfSA) Manager at Belfast Met said, “I am delighted with Ali’s determination and success which I know is shared by the rest of our team. His progression through all three of our programmes from Skills for industry to Training for Success and then to AprenticeshipsNI and employment, is testament to how CfSA supports young people through a range of pathways to move them along their learner journey into successful careers.”

If you are interested in joining the Skills for Industry programme contact Joanne Clarke, email

For information on the Training for Success or Apprenticeships programmes email

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