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Skilled labour force key to Sri Lanka’s FDI success


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 From left: Deputy Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training Karunaratne Paranawithana, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development and Vocational Training (ICTPDPCDSDVT) Rishad Bathiudeen, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, ICTPDPCDSDVT State Minister Buddhika Pathirana, ICTPDPCDSDVT Secretary K.D.N. Ranjith Ashoka, VTA Cahairman Ravi Jayawardene and VTA Director General Chulangani Perera at the VTA’s 2019 Convocation held on 22 August in Colombo

 

  • ‘Skilled labour important for FDI, industries’: Rishad
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A skilled labour force can play a defining role to attract FDIs to Sri Lanka. “I stress that more NVQ qualified youth can help develop our industries as well and attract FDI to our industry zones,” said Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development and Vocational Training (ICTPDPCDSDVT) Rishad Bathiudeen on 22 August in Colombo. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the VTA Convocation 2019 held at BMICH. 

Joining Minister Bathiudeen were Deputy Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training Karunaratne Paranawithana, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, ICTPDPCDSDVT State Minister Buddhika Pathirana, ICTPDPCDSDVT Secretary K.D.N. Ranjith Ashoka, VTA Chairman Ravi Jayawardene and VTA Director General Chulangani Perera. Functioning under Minister Bathiudeen, the VTA annually produces around 30,000 TVET-qualified Sri Lankan youth who secure employment locally and abroad. 625 NVQ level 5 qualified students were conferred their diplomas at the 22 August convocation.

“Around 30,000 Sri Lankan young girls and boys enter into the TVET system every year. In addition there are migrant workers who use TVET qualifications. My Ministry, with the VTA has been making many efforts to fulfil the Government’s vision of creating a trained skills base to move up in the global income ranks as envisioned by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe,” said Minister Bathiudeen.

“The awarding of 625 NVQ-5 diploma certificates today by VTA is another step towards fulfilling this vision. This is VTA’s second batch of students who pass NVQ-5 Diploma. With the first batch of NVQ 5 Diplomas of 475 passing out in 2017 a total of 1,100 Sri Lankan NVQ 5 Diploma holders are now qualified by Sri Lanka VTA. Qualifications as these are even more important in a country such as Sri Lanka where large numbers of rural youth are awaiting for training and 57% of the country’s GDP coming from the Services sector. 

“More NVQ qualified youth can help develop our industries and attract FDI to our industry zones. This is a key reason that I as the as the Industry Minister have been working closely with skills development and vocational training and linking these two sectors for more FDI and encouraging international level industries to our country. The Government works to increase FDIs to Sri Lanka. To attract more FDI we need to show that we have qualified labour and other resources. 

“A continuously upgrading skills-base is a key factor to attract more FDI volumes. I have good news to share in this regard. Sri Lanka again successfully retained its global ranking in the 2019 Global Talent Competitiveness Index. We rank at 82nd place in this index since 2017. Except for India, Sri Lanka ranks higher than all South Asian countries. This shows that our national skills development efforts are becoming productive,” he added. 

Global Talent Competitiveness Index is the firmly established global benchmark for talent competitiveness and the future of work. Of the 125 countries ranked in 2019 index, Sri Lanka ranks at 82, above such countries as Kenya, Vietnam and Laos.

 


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