Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa March 2 inaugurated the ‘Skills Sri Lanka’ program designed under the theme ‘A Generation with Competencies’ at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo.
The State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research & Innovation implements this program with the objective of creating a skilled workforce to cater to the needs of an increasingly globalized and interdependent world economy.
Overall, 70% of the total unemployed population is in the “unskilled” category. In this context, it is essential to make them a demand-driven workforce that meets present day requirements in the job market. The ‘Skills Sri Lanka’ programme plans to establish an island-wide broad network of social infrastructure for school dropouts and for the unskilled sections among both the unemployed and employed categories. Skills development will be carried out under 08 categories through long and short term courses.
The President unveiled the official logo of ‘Skills Sri Lanka’. The President also inaugurated the programme to provide a monthly stipend of Rs. 4,000 / – for all students who purse courses in the fields they choose.
Five buses designed as mobile vocational training units will be operated island wide from today in parallel to the implementation of the programme. President Rajapaksa officially handed over the buses to the Chairman of the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority.
State Minister Sita Arambepola presented the first copy of the ‘Skills Sri Lanka’ newspaper to the President.
The Prime Minister presented protective clothing to students who are selected to pursue vocational training.
Addressing the gathering, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that it is the responsibility of the government to clear the path for future generations to enrich their lives, regardless of failures in examinations. The Prime Minister further said that the government will fulfill its responsibilities with utmost commitment to equip the youth of this country with professional skills that needed to match with the advanced society in the modern world.
Private firms Piza Hut and Orange handed over their letters of intent to Minister of State Sita Arambepola acknowledging their contribution to the ‘Skills Sri Lanka’ programme.
The event was attended by the Maha Sangha, other religious leaders, Ministers, Secretaries to Ministries and government officials.