Leonardo Fonseca Rodrigues
WorldSkills São Paulo 2015
Champions Trust Regional Representative for Americas
When did you know that your skill lit a spark in you that other professions didn't?
I knew that jewellery making was my passion when I realized that I was able to create and produce beautiful pieces of jewellery that other people would love and would wear with passion. I knew that when I understood that I could touch people's feelings and emotions through jewellery making.
What is your favourite WorldSkills memory?
My favourite WorldSkills memory was the last day of the Competition. Right after the finishing of the last module and delivery of the final piece. My Expert came to me with tears in his eyes and said, "Now you can cry. You are the best for me, and you are forever my son." He was a tough person and that day I saw him in tears, very moved, telling me that I was his son in that skill. I will keep this in my heart forever.
Why is being part of WorldSkills important after your Competition is over?
Because I want to leave a legacy to the next generation, inspiring them to get the best from themselves. I also want to contribute to spread the message and mission of WorldSkills around the world telling my story and sharing how learning my skill changed my life.
What would you tell your 12-year-old self about your future?
I would tell him to do not fear, that his future will be brilliant, and for him to trust in his ability to learn and do whatever he wants in his life.
What do you want senior policy makers to know about skilled jobs and skilled professionals?
I want to highlight to them that skilled professionals are important for the economy. Highly skilled people get jobs more easily, they get better salaries, making their purchasing power in general higher. Once people have more money, they spend more money, and this increases the demand, which enables entrepreneurs to produce more, sell more, and create more jobs to hire more skilled people. Once the economy is going well the tax collection increases and allows the governments to invest more in education and skills learning policies making all this cycle spin and give more opportunity to the youth which aims for a better quality of life.
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