Sri Lankan government commences YouLead initiative to enhance youth employability and skills
The government of Sri Lanka has commenced a multi-stakeholder four-year initiative with US$ 12 million funding in order to enhance the employability and skills of youth.
The initiative is reportedly spearheaded by the US Agency for International Aid (USAID) and the government.
The initiative has been named ‘YouLead’ and it will link youth to productive careers through the creation of a more market-oriented, skilled and flexible workforce in the country.
The focus according to reports is to tackle youth unemployment by skills development, enhancing the prospects of employability.
According to reports, over 70% of the population from the ages of 15-29 was unemployed while 85% were rural residents.
Statistics reportedly show that five million young women are yet unemployed while only 9% were employees in the tourism sector and Parliament. Therefore, while unemployment amongst youth is a crucial problem, the gender-based cultural patterns of Sri Lanka play a key role in the issue.
Youth between the ages of 16 and 35 are to be targeted and the regional focus is expected to be on the provinces with the highest youth unemployment – the Sabaragamuwa, Central, Southern and Northern provinces.
YouLead is also expected to encourage more women to enter the workforce and take up in-demand careers.
Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training, Chandima Weerakkody has said, “Unemployment is certainly an issue but on the other hand, finding employment for the employees is also a problem.”
“Many employers report difficulties in finding suitably skilled workers, thus it is imperative that all curricula and skills development programs undertake to do so with continuous consultation and feedback from the industries and sectors that provide employment.”
YouLead is administered by the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) and implemented by International Executive Service Corps (IESC), an organisation which has worked with hundreds of private sector enterprises in Sri Lanka since 1965. It will partner the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the American Chamber of Commerce, Arizona State University, Global Communities, Skills for Life and Verite Research.
“The potential and human talent in this country is amazing and we are truly captured by the vision of the young people,” US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Atul Keshap has said, adding that “the future of Sri Lanka depends on its youth gaining skills and knowledge that will power prosperity.”
The recently launched initiative targeting the development of youth employability and skills would help build a strong workforce in the country. A skilled human capital will provide excellent opportunities for investors to launch their businesses in Sri Lanka using the strong workforce that is available.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/23102017/Z_1|