Skills Training for Demand Driven Jobs
Traditionally vocational education has been aligned to the system of apprenticeship, or “on-the job” training, where young people who did not opt for tertiary or higher education, learned practical skills from experienced craftsmen in the trade, be it in construction works, carpentry, cottage industries, agricultural activities, mechanics, gem cutting, bakery products, gold, brass and silver ware, and many others.
Over the years, however, the labour market has become more and more specialized with employers looking to accredited institutions and organisations to supply the demand for skilled workers. Such institutions are managed by both state and non-state organisations and cater to diverse trades and industries through career-oriented skills training, both generic and specialized. Course duration is usually 3 years, leading to Certificates or Diplomas.
In such a situation, it is essential that the skills you seek to develop are in tune with the demand for such skills by potential employers.
The Sri Lanka Labour Force Survey Annual Bulletin 2012 published by the Department of Census and Statistics states that the economically active population of Sri Lanka is estimated at 8.5 million. Of that about 5.6 million (66.6%) are males and 2.8 million (33.4%) are females.
The economically inactive population is greater at 9.4 million of which 2.8 million (29.7%) are males and 6.6 million (70.3%) are females.
The highest unemployment rates by age group and gender reveal that males between the ages of 15 to 24 years amount to 14%, while females in the same age group account for 23.5%.
In a bid to absorb skilled but unemployed youth, and ensure lower unemployment rates, government and private organizations have engaged in training and skilling young people in demand driven skills.
Where can I find demand driven skills training in Sri Lanka?
There are several institutions offering a range of skills training in Sri Lanka. You can visit the following website http://www.tvec.gov.lk/institute/accredited.pdf to access a list of accredited private and non-governmental organizations offering vocational skills training.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development, the Department of Technical Education and Training, the Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka, National Youth Services Council (NYSC), National Institute of Business Management (NIBM), National Apprenticeship and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), Ceylon German Technical Training Institute (CGTTI), Technical Education Development Project and Information Communication and Technology Agency (ICTA) are some of the government organizations providing skills training.
Furthermore, vocational education and training courses are conducted by registered institutions to be accredited against National Competency Standards (NCS), developed according to industry requirements and labour market trends. The Technical and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) is the accrediting body in the country.
What types of jobs are available through the Job Bank?
The Sri Lanka Job Bank’s current listing includes the following job categories:
Administration Support, Media/ Advertising and Communication, Sales/ Marketing and Merchandising, Accountants, Agriculture/Dairy, Airline/Marine, Banking/Finance, Beauty/Cosmetics, Clerical, Construction/Civil Engineering, Customer Relations, Engineering/Mechanics/Auto/Electrical, Fashion Design, Foreign Employment, Hotels/Restaurants, Human Resources, IT/Software/Graphic Design, Legal/Law, Managers/Management Trainees, Medical/Health Care/Nursing, Production Supervision, Secretarial, Store Keeper, Teaching/Academic/Library, Textile/Apparel and Technical/Automobile.
Where can I find training in micro credit/finance?
Most microfinance institutions train their beneficiaries as part of an in-house program. However, there are other institutions such as Lanka Microfinance Practitioners’ Association which conduct training of trainer (TOT) programmes on product development, business planning, etc. Their website is: http://www.microfinance.lk
What types of skills training programmes are available in Sri Lanka?
- Building and Construction
- Masonry, Plumbing, Painting (Building), Bar bending, Diploma in Draughtsmanship.
- Automotive (Motor Mechanism)
- Motor Mechanism, Automobile Electrician, Automobile Air-condition Technician, Automobile Painting, Driving (Heavy Vehicles), Automobile fitting, Three wheeler Mechanics, Motor cycle Mechanics, Farm Equipment Mechanics, Farm Machinery and Equipment Mechanic .
- Electrician (Domestic), Electrician (Industrial), Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic, Electric Motor Winding Mechanic, Repairer Domestic Electrical and Electronic equipment, Repairer Domestic Electrical and Electronic equipment.
- Electricity and Telecommunication
- Mechanic – Radio, Television and allied equipment.
- Information Technology
- Computer Applications Assistant, Computer Hardware Technician, Diploma in Computer System Design and Programming, Diploma in Information Technology.
- Food Technology
- Bakery Products, Fruit and related products.
- Offset litho machine operator, Graphic Designer.
- Hotel and Tourism Industry
- Food supplies, handicrafts.
- Metal related
- Machinery Technician, Aluminum Processing Technician, Metal processing Technician, Brass foundry work and Engraving.
- Gems and Jewellery
- Jewellery Technician (Gem cutting), Jewellery Technician (Finishing), Jewellery (Gem setting), Jewellery craftsman (Casting).
- Timber based
- Carpenter (Domestic furniture), Carpenter (Building construction), Wood carving.
- Rubber, Plastic and leather based products
- Leather products.
- Agriculture and livestock
- Nursery management and Bud grafting.
- Motor boat Mechanic (Outboard motors).
- Personal and Social
- Beauty culture, Hair dressing, Hair cutting.
- Clothing and garments
- Dress making (ladies and children), Garment production supervisor, High speed machine operator.
- Screen printing, Garment quality supervisor, Pattern designing, Sewing (Menswear).
- Mechanical Management
- Diploma in Industrial Management.
Are there long distance skills training programmes?
Since all these skills programmes have both the theory and practical components, the programmes are not designed for distance learning.
Is there government support specifically for women entrepreneurs?
Under the government’s policy document – Mahinda Chinthanaya – government support is available to several enterprise sectors. However, there is no specific affirmative action or assistance earmarked for women entrepreneurs in particular.