17 year- old, Barnet and Southgate College student Ali Qasimi is on the Bridging Business course at the Wood Street Campus and recently completed his work experience with Lord Roger Roberts of Llandudno at the House of Lords in Westminster.

Ali, who lives in Golders Green arrived in London on his own at the age of 14 as a child refugee from Afghanistan in 2016. He entered the care system and recently won an award from Hackney Council social services for ‘the exceptional care award’ for achieving all his education goals and for his exemplary behaviour.

Ali Qasimi said: “A careers advisor at Barnet and Southgate College recommended that I enrol onto the bridging course (with a business pathway) so that I could get my English and maths GCSE’s, eventually I’d like to stay on at the College and do my A levels. I’m really proud to win the award from social services and really enjoyed the awards presentation.

I love coming into College and it was part of my course that I had to find several weeks of work experience, so I contacted Lord Roger Roberts. I sing as part of the Citizens of the World Choir in North Greenwich, where he is a patron. Working at the House of Lords, has to be one of the best jobs you could do in the world; I helped to write and recommend questions for the Chamber of Lord’s according to their protocol, arranged official appointments and other commitments for the Lord’s schedule, I helped to build a website for a human rights interest group and also completed general administration tasks. It was just amazing to be in Westminster, mixing with and meeting other peers and I saw all the goings on of the House of Lords, it was a unique experience that’ll I’ll never forget. In fact, all of it and everything I did during my work experience was my favourite part and it has given me an insight into politics.”

Lord Roberts of Llandudno said: “Following the most difficult of journeys, Ali arrived in the United Kingdom and by his very kindly nature was soon one of our most popular residents. In the Citizens of the World choir he was much admired for his ability to get along with folk in very challenging circumstances. Always respectful grateful and generous he is an outstanding choir member and we are proud to have him amongst us. During his work experience in Parliament, Ali was always cheerful, and a joy to have around. He was eager to learn, and managed to complete all tasks which were given to him.”

Mark Lavender, Parliamentary Assistant to Lord Roberts of Llandudno said: “While Ali worked with me, I found him to be a very happy pleasant person to be around. When asked what he would like to do, or learn about, he would reply “everything!” This to me is a very good mentality to have. The thing that really impressed me about Ali, was the fact that he asked so many questions. To train, or work with someone who is so interested in learning, is a joy. Ali was also willing to stay longer than what he needed to. Whatever Ali chooses to do, I’m sure that he has a good career ahead of him.”