Pathway to Success
By any standards, Safaraz Ali’s
career CV makes for impressive reading. He is CEO of one £16 million turnover company, chair of another £5 million concern, an author, an awards host judge – and even helps run a football academy for inner-city youngsters.
His Tyseley-based Nationwide Care Services group has mushroomed into the second biggest care provider in Birmingham, delivering 25,000 hours of care a week to thousands of patients. Meanwhile, as managing director- CEO of the Pathway Group, he has been one of the driving forces behind the rise of a skills and training organisation providing career opportunities for new recruits
covering a variety of sectors – from HS2 to the world of beauty.
At 48, he would appear to be at the height of his powers. But it has been a long, hard road to success – with plenty of obstacles through the decades – for the Birmingham born son of a Kashmiri immigrant father, Khardit Ali, who first came to England in the mid-50s to make a better life for himself away from his farming roots in rural Pakistan…
The DfE's blanket Strategy is cloth-eared.
Licence to Skill
He’s the co-founder of a home care company turning over £16 million, CEO of a £5 million a year training business, and creator of The BAME Apprenticeship Awards. But Safaraz Ali admits that he failed his GCSEs. “I lost my way around the age of 14,” he says. “But a BTEC and a Higher National Diploma in business and finance got me back on track, so I’m a big believer in vocational qualifications.” He now employs apprentices across both of his companies.
Ali went on to co-found Nationwide Care Services in 2005. It’s now the second largest care provider in Birmingham, employing almost 1,000 people who deliver 25,000 hours of care a week across the Midlands. The size of the business means it’s eligible to pay the government’s Apprenticeship Levy – 0.5 per cent of the company’s total payroll, which amounts to £82,000 per annum.
This payment can then be used by employers to fund apprenticeships, providing real opportunities for staff to gain qualifications, and progress while they work. “It’s an environment that creates an element of mentoring in the workplace and gets people to think about lifelong learning and reflective practice,” Ali says of work-based training. “That raises emotional awareness and emotional intelligence. People understand their contribution and they are more involved in shaping their career progression.”