WorldSkills SA National Competition did this Northlink College student so much for his future

Ashveer Laljith maybe did not win a medal at the WorldSkills SA National Competition but the experience that he gained, according to him, was more valuable than any medal would have been. The College  had the opportunity to chat with him about the competition, his studies and the future.
What did you study?
Information Technology: Multimedia and Developer Associate at Northlink Campus

When did you start studying?
January 2015

Why did you choose this career?
I chose this career because I am very passionate about software development, web design and graphic design.

The IT course that I have chosen to pursue at Northlink TVET College: Tygerberg Campus had a great impact on me as I had the opportunity to engage in both of my graphic design capabilities as well as my software development.

How did you become a part of the WorldSkills SA Local Competition?
I became part of the WorldSkills SA Competition due to the encouragement of my mentor and lecturer Mr. Arthur van der Poll.

He had enlightened me with the wonderful opportunity to showcase my graphic design skills and also how I could benefit with the exposure from participating in such a competition.

Why did you want to become part of this competition?
I wanted to become part of this competition not only to showcase my skills but to also help me with my career in the near future.

I have spoken to pervious participants of the WorldSkills SA Competition and found out that it does not only help an individual, like myself, but also helps with the exposure of WorldSkills SA to the country and other students.

How was the local, regional and national competition for you?
Local: The local competition was a great starting point to the introduction of the WorldsSkills SA Competition and what I could look for in progressing forward.

Regional: With the regional competition, it was quite a challenge but very interesting as we had to compete not only against our fellow peers but also against other students in institutions and colleges in Western Cape to get selected as one of three to represent Western Cape in the national Competition.

This was a good indication as to how proficient my designs need to be in order to participate in nationals and also in further rounds.

Nationals: Firstly, it was a fantastic opportunity to participate in the Nationals as I went up against the best graphic designers in the country.

The pressure was intense and the competition was fierce as only one designer gets chosen to represent South Africa in the International WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi.

As fierce as the competition was, we had great mentors to guide us through the National Competition and also helped bring out the best in us.

How was the experience to be part of team WC and participate at the Nationals?
This was an experience of a life time to be part of the Western Cape team and participate at the Nationals. The competitors that were competing in the rest of the 20 different skill areas were friendly and I got the opportunity to get exposure into their skill category. The opportunity allowed me to establish new relationships, which will certainly help me in the long run

On a technical level, the tasks and tests chosen allowed me to showcase all the skills I have been working so hard to develop and fine-tune during my studies.

How did this opportunity give you exposure to be better in your career?
Participating in the WorldSkills SA Competition has had a huge impact on my career path as such an event had brought in a great networking platform. It gave me a clear understanding of what goes on in the industry also gave me a good sense of the current market within my field of study.

What did you learn from the National competition?
Competing at National level has given me the chance to gain substantial experience, showcase my skills, analyse and evaluate outcomes and uncover my personal aptitude.

It has also encouraged me to adopt innovative techniques and develop my ideas and skills. This has also showed me that you should take risks and think outside the box when creating new and different graphic designs to stay on top of the competition.

The WorldSkills SA National Competition also has played a role in growing my self-confidence as it placed me in a position where someone is judging my work.

How would you encourage students to participate in the WorldSkills SA Competition?
WorldSkills South Africa represents an opportunity to emphasise the key role that artisans play in the economy. The benefits to the participants are considerable –qualifying for the International Competition affords each participant a highly experienced mentor in their field.

Participating in the competition is equivalent to 4 – 5 years of professional training, with all the benefits of that experience – confidence and character building and immeasurable networking opportunities. Equally important, participation on a global level allows South Africa to benchmark our education and training system against industry requirements and public demand for the services. The competition also serves as an important validation of the artisanal sector and is a reminder that a proper mastery of skills requires focus, training and dedication over time.

What is the next step for you?
The next big step for me is to gain experience in a working industry and use those skills to further my studies and help me gain my degree in Information Technology.

Where are you working at the moment?
I am current employed as a junior software developer at Dot Cube Digital Solutions.

I have completed 6 months of employment so far in which I completed 2 months’ web and graphic design were I finally found my true skills of software development.

Would you like to participate in more such events in the future?
Yes, definitely.

Have been able to apply what you have learned and experienced in the competition in your current position / work?
Yes, the WorldSkills SA Competition is very much like the industry. We are given set tasks with the proper brief and specific colour palette. This showed us how to create powerful designs but, bare in mind what the outcome should look like, very much like the way a client requests a design in the industry.

Northlink wishes him well for the future