The Graduation Ceremony at SOFT SKILLZ INTERNATIONAL

A graduation ceremony, with a difference, elegance and class written all over it. True Soft Skillz International style; was held on the 15th day of August Two Thousand and Twenty at the BMICH, Colombo.

Whilst Twenty-three graduants were conferred with the City and Guilds Advanced Diploma in Teaching Training and Assessing Learning, 10 students from Royal College, a student from Museus College and a student from Vishaka Vidyala were awarded certificates on successful completion of the Young Leadership Development

The graduants consisted of professionals in Hospitality, Media, Banking & Finance, Trainers, and Entrepreneurs.

The Chief Guest at the event was Dean, Faculty of Defence and Strategic Studies, Sir John Kotalawala Defence University, Colonel Sylvester Perera RSP USP psc, a great believer in development of individuals.

City and Guilds representatives Mr. Hifaz Ashroff, Head of Sales and Partnerships – South Asia, at City & Guilds, Mr Anton Thevathasan, Head of Quality Assurance, Faculty members, Young Leaders, and family members graced this milestone event of The Soft Skillz International.

The ceremony gave wings to the first graduation ceremony held at Soft Skillz International in Sri Lanka.

At the commencement of the graduation ceremony the National Anthem was sung by everyone. Next the traditional lighting of the oil lamp was held with the participation of the Chief Guest, Colonel Sylvester Perera, RSP USP psc., Head of Sales and Partnerships – City and Guilds South Asia, Head of Quality Assurance, the Invigilator Mr. Sutharshan, Member of Faculty, Huzaifa Farook on behalf of the graduants and

Yasitha Adikaramge on behalf of the Young Leaders. Two minutes silence was hence observed in remembrance of those who have passed on.

Parakrama Jayatissa, a graduant whilst welcoming the audience stated that it is the principal event all graduants have been waiting for and the morning that the intellectual talents of the graduants are shone ever so bright.

Mr Hifaz Ashrof, Head of Sales and Partnerships – South Asia at City & Guilds, commending and congratulating the graduates stated that Sri Lanka has a long tradition of excellence in education and training that is shown in the achievements of the learners, in working successfully in different parts of the world. Further he stated that helping people reach their potential through work-based learning is the core to what City
and Guilds does. Skill gaps are bridged for people to adopt to change in the technical, social and economic trends he elaborated.

The Director – Academics, Founder & CEO of Soft Skillz International, Ms. Sulakshana Fernando, went on to address the graduants, the young leaders and parents. The graduants were requested to take a look at the journey thus far and be proud of their achievement. The graduating batch was requested to cast their minds back to that day when they first arrived at Soft Skillz International where most were strangers to each
other. However, she stated, as anticipated over the months they did create bonds out of common experiences, shared memories, entangled hopes and mutual loyalties and by now they would have found some of your dearest and closest colleagues. Quoting Jessica Lange, Sarah Lawrence College, The Director Academics, Ms Fernando stated “Be present and open to the moment that is unfolding before you. Because, ultimately, your life is made up of moments. So don’t miss them by being lost in the past or anticipating the future.”

Addressing the Young Leaders who received certificates on this day Ms Sulakshana Fernando stated the young leaders have received a strong foundation from Soft Skillz, and that will enable them to build upon to be more confident individuals, who are able to

speak well, listen, research, analyze comprehend and lead. They were advised to use the foundation and be highlighted in their schools and in other fora.

Finally addressing the Parents, the Director – Academics reiterated the importance of developing essential skills of children in their formative ages and went on to conclude by saying “Children learn from what they grow up with”.

The Director Administration & Student Registrations, Captain Sumedha Mirihana [Retd], recited the citation and announced the names of the graduants in order confer the City & Guilds Advanced Diploma in Teaching Training & Assessing Learning.

The City & Guilds of London Institute is the awarding body for City and Guilds qualifications. The Institute was founded in 1878 and granted Royal Charter in 1900.

The qualification is regulated by OFQUAL [The Office of Qualifications] and Examinations Regulation, which, regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England.

It is also accredited to Qualifications Wales, which is a Welsh Government sponsored body.

Having conferred the City & Guilds Advanced Diploma in Teaching, Training & Assessing Learning, which is an International Vocational qualification recognized globally, the graduates would be entitled to use
the title UK Certified Trainer.

Delivering the keynote speech, Colonel Sylvester Perera RSP USP psc, Dean, Faculty of Defence and Strategic Studies, Sir John Kotalawala Defence University congratulating the graduates for their achievement, went on to speak on Leadership. In the Army leadership is principally about doing, he stated. It is a business of applying professional skills, knowledge and ability to inspire people to give of their best to get

things done. Impact will come the hard way with practice and experience Colonel Perera went on to state.

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Further individuals in or out of military will respond to the right type of leadership he stated.

Speaking on the occasion he detailed that the formula that has worked for him is Skill, Will and Teamwork, which always gave him success.

Elaborating further on skill, it was stated that learning involves more than passing an examination. If we don’t understand this, we will always be followers of other communities rather than leaders he reiterated. Explaining further on the subject he stated each career needs development of skills and most people only ‘exist’ in their careers, due to lack of skill.

Will of a soldier is more important than his weapon he explained. Having a qualification would not suffice, one must have the will. In the words of Nelson Mandela “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success, if they are dedicated to, and passionate about what they do” Colonel Sylvester Perera quoted.

Whilst drawing an example of a Battery, a wire and a flashlight bulb he stated that these three elements had no value when divided, however when assembled they help shed light. Similarly teamwork is important for one’s success be in the military or corporates he explained.

Whilst reiterating on the importance of Skill, Will and Teamwork and congratulating Soft Skillz International on its milestone event, the Key note speech was brought to a close. Unveiling of the Srianth Fernando Memorial Trophy was the impetus at this graduation ceremony. This Trophy was awarded by the Board of Directors and the Faculty members of the Soft Skillz International to the Most Outstanding student of the Academic year considering Many Aspects such as, the highest commitment, transformation and application of learning.

Samanthi Peiris being the proud recipient of the Srianth Fernando Memorial Trophy delivering the cum laude indicated that enrolling for the programme was a wonderful experience and she enjoyed every minute of it.

The friendship, the discussions on various topics during the breaks, the good times had while learning made hard work more bearable & the experience more memorable she further stated. Whilst recollecting her experiences she stated that the teamwork was what helped each one of them achieve success at the programme.

Samanthi stated that; what was gained through the course went beyond the course content and they were inspired to give of their best, as most would agree the understanding acquired from the course was not limited to teaching & training, it also gave a fresh outlook on how they relate to situations & people in everyday life.

On behalf of all the graduates she went on to thank Sulakshana & the Team at SSI for the training, guidance given, for increasing the level of competency and most of all for igniting that spark within them so that they in turn could go and be effective teachers, trainers and corporate executives.

Whilst thanking families for their Love, encouragement, understanding, patients & prayers she stated that it was a great source of strength. In conclusion she shared a quotation of William A Ward “ The Mediocre Teacher tells, The good teacher Explains, The superior Teacher Demonstrates ,The great teacher Inspires.”
The curtains were brought down on the formal ceremony and invitees and guests were hosted to brunch.

Shenal De Silva, Ravindra Witharane, Sumedha Mirihana, Huzaifa Farook, Sanuja De Silva, Parakrama Jayatissa, Samanthi Peiris, Mohan Gamage and Moditha Sendanayake were among the graduates.

Anukh Pathirana, Uthum Weerasinghe, Thinodh Ekanayake, Senul Liyanage, Ranithu Karunanayake, Ronal Weerakkody, Yasitha Adikaramge, Menula Chandrasekara, Nisuli Chandrasekara, Manuja Gunawardana, Chanuki Gunawardana and Nethaka Piyanandana were the recipients of certificates of the Young Leadership Development Programme.

Soft Skillz International is a resourceful Training & Development ensemble based in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The faculty members and the panel of trainers consists of university lecturers, consultants, HR experts with Tri lingual capabilities and with hands on experience over many years and specialized in different industries. All of them are highly qualified and certified trainers from the UK, USA & Sri Lanka.

Their exposure in training and development of Human Recourses, both local and overseas, for participants of different age groups and different industries, nationalities and ethnicities have given them an incomparable winning edge.

Soft Skillz offers many professional training, facilitation and consultancy programmes, which are tailor made for organisations and individuals to suit their needs and cultures.

Their areas of expertise lie in City and Guilds – UK qualifications, Outbound objective oriented training and Essential Skills development programmes.

Soft Skillz International with a mission of empowering people to achieve greatness through a structured process, by drawing out their potential through functional knowledge and an inventive mind and skills set.

Their foundational beliefs encapsulates that all human beings and unique, capable, talented and all individuals aspire to be great. Soft Skillz International is moving from strength to strength by “Living life to its fullest potential”.

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