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ICT Industry Skills Council defines ambitious plans for industry skills development


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Ambitious plans are now on the cards to develop skills in the ICT industry through the ICT Industry Skills Council (ICTISC), the apex body of the ICT Skills Development in Sri Lanka. The ICT Skills Council aims to prepare Sri Lankan workforce for Digital Sri Lanka and make Sri Lanka an ICT skill hub for the global ICT industry aligning with the Government strategy of reaching a $ 5 billion industry by 2022.

ICT Industry Skills Council has been formed by the Government of Sri Lanka under the Ministry of Skills Development, and Vocational Training. Consisting industry leaders and stakeholders, the ICT Skills Council is an ICT industry driven organisation supported by the Government. Further, ICTISC functions as the platform between the IT industry and the education sector of the country.

The new skills requested by the ICT firms, besides certain educational degrees, are often qualities of personal nature. Factors like attitudes, the world-view, personal communication skills, etc. are more important than before when firms are recruiting new staff. The new needs are reflecting the changes taking place inside the ICT industry, but also in the relationship between the ICT and other sectors. The mastery of ICT and its integration into thinking and business model has become necessity in sectors like banking. ICT has entered into the core of these businesses. Identifying today’s demand, ICTISC has defined an ambitious plan based on a five pillar strategy to develop the ICT Skills in Sri Lanka. 

The Five Pillar strategy of ICTISC will focus on Infrastructure, Brand Building and Positioning (Pillar 1) headed by Chinthaka Wijewickrema – MD-Sala Enterprises/Chairman ICTISC, Policy and Advocacy (Pillar 2) headed by Shanta R. Yapa – Director – Avonet Ltd. – General Secretary – ICTISC, Education, Training, and ICT Professional Development (Pillar 3) headed by Indika de Zoysa – Consultant ICT Agency of Sri Lanka, ICT Careers and Networking (Pillar 4) Hasith Yaggahavita – Chief Technology Officer – 99X Technology, Programs and Events (Pillar 5) headed by Poorna Bandara – Vice President IFS/Immediate Past Chairman which will immediately improve the skills in the ICT sector. 

“I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead the ICTISC,” said ICTISC Chairman Chinthaka Wijewickrema and added, “In order to achieve these new, enhanced targets, we have to make a series of significant changes for the forward-march and overall progress of Sri Lanka’s ICT industry. We have worked out a comprehensive plan of action to make this initiative a reality.” 

He promised to continue building on the good work achieved thus far. “Certainly, we will continue playing an active role as the apex ICT body relating to Skills Development in the ICT Industry,” said Chinthaka Wijewickrema. Key to its efforts would be continued dialogue and partnership with key stakeholders that include the Government, industry, and users, with a view to harnessing the potential of ICT skills development for promoting and supporting the industry growth.

The ICT Industry Skills Council has formed to create national strategies and operational plans that will create standardised skills requirements for the various job roles in the industry. In order to develop the local talent pool, ICT Industry Capacity Building Programs, Networking Opportunity creation, Harnessing Young ICT Talents and Entrepreneurship, Promoting ICT Careers and Vocational Education, initiatives have been lined up in strategic level. 

Like its economy, the Sri Lankan ICT scenario is developing. In order to bridge this gap between ICT skills expectation and local demand, the ICT Skills Council was tasked with the responsibility of developing highly skilled people in the industry. ICT Skills Council has established collaboration and believes that the national competency development is a collaborative effort by multiple stakeholders. ICTISC links up industry, industry bodies, Government bodies, Government training arms, private training arms, academia and the workforce under a defined set of national goals. 

ICT Industry Skills Council aims ‘to be the vibrant voice towards global ICT leadership’. Moreover, ICTISC aims to be the vision group to guide Sri Lanka towards becoming the technological hub of Asia.

 


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