While growing up, 28-year-old Krishneel Kant loved watching his father prepare cars for drag racing.
This sparked an interest in Kant to explore the mechanics of the automotive industry. He learnt the basics of the profession from his father and later enrolled in the programme Certificate IV in Automotive Engineering (Heavy Commercial Vehicle) at Fiji National University’s (FNU) College of Engineering, Science and Technology (CEST).
“My family has a great interest in drag racing and they put in a lot of effort to ensure the cars are well maintained for the races. I’ve been witnessing work being done on cars from my childhood and it occurred to me that I can take this interest one step further by specialising in heavy vehicle maintenance,” he said.
Kant, who is a mechanic at Automart Company Ltd in Nabua, specialises in assembling, disassembling and maintaining heavy vehicles such as cranes, bulldozers, trucks and buses.
“Most of the workplaces require the mechanics to specialise in each field, that is, either assembling, disassembling or maintaining. I am grateful and acknowledge my employer for allowing us to learn work in all the areas concerning heavy vehicle repairs.”
He believes heavy vehicles are important in large scale agriculture and construction industry. “Presently, there is an increased demand for heavy vehicles in the construction industry due to the many infrastructure developments taking place around the country. Even the sugarcane cutting is being done by machines in most places.”
“Therefore, there is a great need for heavy vehicle professionals to keep them running properly in order to promote safety and optimal performance.”
Keeping in mind the current trends and the competitive job market, Kant said Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes are options worth noting.
“I believe once there was this perception that TVET programmes are only for students who do not excel in their studies but today this has completely changed. Technically skilled professionals have nowadays become an integral part of the society and some of the major industries will just shut-down if these careers did not exist.”
“I am glad to have chosen to pursue a programme from the TVET stream. I was able to get hands-on job training, which provided knowledge and skills for employment and acted as the gateway to my dream career,” Kant added.
FNU is a dual-sector university that provides vocational education and training and higher education programmes in Fiji and the Pacific region. Enrolment for Semester 1, 2021 is now underway.