Communiqué de presse

Press Release: Canada supports vocational training for 4000 Sri Lankan youths

COLOMBO, May 23, 2016 – Mr. P. Ranepura, Secretary, Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training (MSDVT), and Ms. Esther McIntosh, Country Director, World University Service of Canada (WUSC), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen a robust youth employment initiative. The signing ceremony was attended by the Canadian High Commissioner, Her Excellency Shelley Whiting.

Funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada, Advancing Specialized Skills for Economic Transformation (ASSET) is a five year project that will increase the income potential of 4,000 young men and women from all social backgrounds by supporting equitable employment in the expanding trades and technology sectors. The project, implemented by WUSC in eleven districts of Sri Lanka, spans four provinces (North, North West, East and South). Through the project, WUSC engages public and private skills training providers to develop courses and programs that better reflect the needs of the job market.

“We look forward to working with the Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training on this initiative,” said McIntosh. “With the MOU in place we can now further integrate the ASSET project with the Ministry’s work and its agencies.”

ASSET supports the objectives of MSDVT’s Skills Sector Development Plan, which aims to align and coordinate efforts to improve the access, quality and relevance of the technical education and vocational training sector in Sri Lanka.

In her remarks, High Commission Whiting expressed delight at the signing of the MOU noting, “Today marks another important milestone in Canada’s long standing support for vocational training in Sri Lanka. This initiative will, no doubt, further our mutual interests in ensuring that economic prosperity is inclusive and that marginalized youth are equipped with the skills needed for gainful employment in Sri Lanka’s fastest growing sectors.”

To ensure relevance, WUSC engages directly with businesses and potential employers in four sectors (hospitality, communications technology, construction, and automotive repair) in Sri Lanka. These partnerships have already guaranteed more than 600 job placements for Sri Lankan youth who graduate from the program.

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About WUSC: WUSC is a Canadian non-profit committed to creating a more equitable and sustainable world. With a particular focus on youth and women, WUSC provides education, employment and empowerment opportunities to lift individuals and communities out of poverty. With over 55 years of experience, WUSC is a trusted partner in improving the lives of millions in Africa, Asia and the Americas. WUSC has been delivering development programming in Sri Lanka since 1989.

For further information, please contact:
Devaki Gomez at t: +94 11 2504277 / 2599491 | e: [email protected]

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