Sri Lanka’s leisure industry poised to launch five year programme to develop the output of skilled labour
A recent media report in Sri Lanka has stated that the country’s leisure industry is to carry out a five year programme to boost the output of skilled trainees and make the sector attractive to school leavers and females as a worker shortfall worsens amid a tourism boom.
Sri Lanka Tourism and Hospitality Workforce Competitiveness Roadmap 2018-2023, devised by a skills development committee made up of key leisure sector companies said there is an annual shortfall of up to 20,000 workers, the report has stated.
“[W]e need more and better trained people entering the industry,” Malik Fernando from Sri Lanka’s Dilmah group, who chairs the Private Sector Tourism Skills Committee, which devised the 5-year plan has reportedly said
“We need 100,000. The Tourist Board thinks it’s closer to 90,000, but that doesn’t include the informal sector.”
According to the roadmap, only 10,000 trainees come out of hotel schools in the country annually.
But about 25,000 to 30,000 are needed each year to staff new hotels and related businesses and also to fill positions falling vacant as older workers retire and others migrate to greener pastures.
“We cannot stand by and watch anymore. Our complacency will kill the industry,” Fernando said.
The skills committee which includes tourism player like Jetwing, John Keells, Dilmah, and Shangri-La is backed by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), the Ceylon Hotel School, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the Technical and Vocational Education Commission and the US Agency for International Development.
According to reports, Sri Lanka’s tourism sector is growing rapidly, with the tourism authority estimating that 20,720 rooms will be added to Sri Lanka’s inventory by 2020.
By end 2017, 35,986 rooms were officially registered with the tourism authority in graded hotels and supplementary units such as guest houses. There are also hundreds of unregistered hotels and guest houses, reports further state.
The five year plan once implemented would ensure the development of a skilled workforce in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry. The country’s tourism industry is on a continuous growth path and the development in the sector is expected to result in the increase in the number of hotel rooms in Sri Lanka. All these indicators show that Sri Lanka’s tourism sector poses ideal investment opportunities for foreign businesses/investors.
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