From Syria to Salford
Refugee has sights set on accountancy career in UK
A Syrian student, who was forced to flee his home country due to the outbreak of war, has ‘calculated’ his next move, with a career in accountancy lined up.
Mahed Obeid, who studies at Salford City College’s FutureSkills, is now working with a charity which provides aid and support to his home country, as an accountant.
As the UK continues to fulfil its pledge to accommodate Syrian refugees, Mahed hopes people will be able to copy his story by seeking out education.
“I had some experience of accountancy, from when I was working for a solar company in Damascus, so I decided to enrol on the Level 1 AAT Access course at FutureSkills,” said Maher, who has a degree in English Literature from Damascus University in Syria.
“I completed the Level 1 qualification in just six weeks, so I then moved on to study Levels 2 and 3.”
27-year-old Maher is now studying part-time on the Level 4 Accountancy course, attending classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
He explained: “I did not intend to progress to Level 4, as it is very hard to support myself financially and study at the same time, but my tutors were very encouraging and urged me to carry on with my studies.”
He added: “I really enjoy the Level 4 course, as I get to learn how companies work. The best thing about it is that it prepares you for work, giving you all the skills needed to work in accountancy.”
Thanks to his industry-recognised AAT qualifications, Maher has now moved from his previous role as a Customer Service Agent at Rentalcars.com, and landed himself a full-time job working as an Accounts Assistant for Syria Relief in Trafford.
He said: “The practical work we do at college has given me a lot of confidence in my job, and the interview preparation that we get as part of our course really helped me when I was looking for full-time work.”