Case Study - Hirantha Rajapaksha
Hirantha is living his dream - thanks to his motor mechanics qualification
09 April 2012
Lion Awards International Learner of the Year 2012
Qualification: Advanced Diploma in Motor Vehicle Systems
Centre: Department of Technical Education & Training, Sri Lanka
Hirantha Rajapaksha has come a long way from his humble beginnings as a vegetable farmer’s eldest son in rural Sri Lanka. Hirantha was determined to pursue a career in motor mechanics and with the backing of his father and the village bank providing a loan with no guarantees, he managed to borrow enough money to fund his studies. Hirantha would travel 8 hours a day from his village to Colombo to attend classes and his perseverance paid off, when in 2011 at the age of 23 he graduated with a City & Guilds Advanced Diploma in Motor Vehicle Engineering.
Hirantha believes City & Guilds has provided him with many opportunities that would otherwise not be available for him, and has paved the way for a bright future. While studying Hirantha was able to take on an apprentice role for Toyota Sri Lanka, offer his knowledge in a junior lecturer post in the weekends, and design and develop new tools for motor technicians.
Hirantha has used his learning and experience to progress his creative ideas to simplify and improve processes in his trade. Hirantha has developed a simple and mobile tool for tightening clipper pistons for a fraction of the cost of the current widely used tool. On completion of product testing in the workshop he plans to patent the product and has the backing of his employer to mass market this innovative tool. Hirantha is also working on innovating other tools for his trade.
Hirantha has been awarded a City & Guild Medal for Excellence and was chosen as this year’s prestigious Lion Awards Learner of the Year. On winning his award Hirantha said he felt “pride, on being the first person in his village to win such an award in the educational sphere and elation at fulfilling his and his father’s dreams to become a professional”.