Mr. Alistair Newman commenced his study journey when he first enrolled at Boland College, Paarl Campus for the National Certificate Vocational: Civil Engineering and Building Construction course. After completing Level 4 he decided to continue and enroll in Civil Engineering N1 – N3.
Whilst studying Alistair was identified as a candidate who could compete and represent Boland College in the WorldSkills Competition.
For those who do not know, WorldSkills South Africa is championed by The Department of Higher Education and Training. While South Africa has been participating in WorldSkills International since 1990, WorldSkills SA was formally established in 2013. These competitions influence the development and employment of youth in South Africa, specifically in the skills/artisan arena. The areas of skill covered by this competition include but are not limited to Bricklaying, Electrical Installations, IT and Network Systems, Industrial Robotics, Beauty Therapy, Cooking and Patisserie and Confectionary to name but a few.
In June of this year, the National Competitions took place in Durban and Alistair was one of the many competitors vying for the top spots in this competition. He was part of the Bricklaying skill competition. Alistair was the bronze medal winner in this division.
We asked him how he would describe the experience of taking part in the national competition. He was adamant that there are no words to describe the competition and the experience he was part of. The most significant highlight of the competition was meeting students from around the country from all levels of society. To be able to network with these students was invaluable.
According to Alistair the most difficult part of the WorldSkills competition is to keep your mind mentally fit. To excel in this environment, you must train your brain for the process ahead. You must continuously think three to five steps ahead as you are working under tough time constraints.
He would like to encourage students to enter the WorldSkills South Africa competitions. The competition does not only allow you to travel and meet new people working in the same field as you, the new knowledge, and skills you gain within your specific trade can open many doors in the future.
Alistair has a clear eye on the future. He would love to start his own construction company doing what he loves. He would love to have a training programme as part of his company to train and upskill others within his community. Alistair wants to give back to his community in a significant way.
He lastly wanted to thank the staff of Boland College who continued to encourage and assisted him in his studies. The way they assist and encourage their students is a definite feather in the cap of Boland College.