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ICT Industry Skills Council encourages ICT careers

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The ICT Industry Skills Council (ICTISC) and the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) have initiated a national campaign to encourage ICT careers in the technical and vocational education and training sector. 

As the first step of this national mandate, ICTISC and TVEC recently organised a Career Orientation Session for students in the Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka followed by a Career Fair to facilitate more networking and interaction opportunities for students with the ICT industry.

Eminent trainer, entrepreneur and business coach Amithe Gamage was the main resource person of the program. Deputy Director General Janaka Jayalath, Director (Actg.) Manjula Widanapathirana, Sri Lanka Tourism Chief Information Officer Udana Wickremasinghe, Techone Global Consultant HR Jude Fernando and SL Robotics Director Thilanka Bandara attended event as panelists while ICTISC Chairman Chinthaka Wijewickrema moderated the session. 

More than 80 students in the Vocational Training Authority benefited from this program by getting exposed to the industry. The training was focused basically on soft skills development of students which is very important area to make the students ready for future careers. Ten ICT companies took part at the career fair giving opportunities for ICT students to interact with the industry. This program will continue in the other centers of TVET around the country. 

The ICT industry is one of the fastest growing industries and the fourth largest export revenue earner in Sri Lanka. Over 300 local ICT companies export software products and services to several regions in the world. The ICT industry vision is to reach $ 5 billion exports revenue by creating 200,000 direct jobs by 2022.

The ICT industry is a vibrant, dynamic business environment poised for accelerated growth leading the workforce to undergo a several structural changes. The demand for ICT workforce has increased in quantity as well as quality opening up many opportunities for graduates and vocational students to start a world class career. Identifying this massive opportunity, ICT Industry Skills Council has initiated this national campaign to promote ICT careers in the vocational education sector together with the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) of Sri Lanka. 

Expressing his views in the opening remarks of this initiative, Wijewickrema stated: “Sri Lanka’s ICT industry is hungry for qualified professionals. IT has become a not just a vital aspect but a hygiene factor to all businesses in other sectors as well. Information Technology and its role in the modern environment create lot of opportunities as well as challenges to the future workforce. To be successful professionals, students in the vocational training sector should be equipped with employable skills such as the right attitudes and appropriate skills to face these rapid changes in the sector.”

The new skills requested by the ICT firms, besides the certain educational degree, 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.

“In the modern knowledge intensive economy human resources are the most critical factor behind the success of corporations. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is one of the most knowledge intensive branches of the economy. The overall importance of ICT has also greatly increased, as it is nowadays widely integrated into almost all functions of the whole economy, business and society. As a result, it is highly important to foresee the skills needed from the ICT professionals in the future to refine the vocational education sector. We believe a program in this nature will encourage the future workforce to go for a better choice,” said Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission Deputy Director General Janaka Jayalath.

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