Tuesday, 3 September 2013 00:00
In a unique public and private sector partnership, white collar employment opportunities have been provided for rehabilitated ex-LTTE combatants.
Rehabilitated youth with higher level educational qualifications have been trained and employed in an information technology based IT/BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) operation facility which started operations recently in Stanley Road, Jaffna.
The Presidential Task Force on English and IT has spearheaded the project to create employment opportunities for better skilled rehabilitated youth of war-affected Northern Province in partnership with the private sector and non-governmental organisations.
In partnership with the Defence Ministry’s Bureau Commissioner General of Rehabilitation (BCGR), blue chip conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC and the Foundation for Advancing Rural Opportunity (FARO), the Presidential Secretariat embarked on the initiative to fulfil the vision of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to create livelihoods for unemployed rehabilitated ex-LTTE youth in the north and east.
Jaffna BPO enables Northern youth to work from the familiar environment of their home town. The selected youth have been a part of a pool of over 30 candidates shortlisted for career skills training sponsored by John Keells Foundation, the CSR arm of John Keells Holding PLC. The training program included English language, communication skills, basic accounting and computing skills.
The project provides sustained employment for rehabilitated youth in the area with plans for scaling up further in the near future. Trainees who proceed to complete the training period and perform their work satisfactorily become eligible to be an owner-associate of the BPO entity.
At an event held recently at the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres received letters of training from Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in the presence of officials of the Presidential Secretariat, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, Bureau Commissioner General of Rehabilitation and John Keells Holdings PLC.
The BPO facility was hosted by Spectra Skills (Pvt) Ltd., with six employees initially and will be expanded to twenty in the near future. Recruited ex-combatant youth received their work-specific training in Colombo at the John Keells head office.
Since 2007 John Keells Holdings PLC and FARO have collaborated in the establishment and sustenance of similar IT/BPO facilities in Mahavilachchiya in the North Central Province and Seenigama in the Southern Province in partnership with the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and FARO which employs about 40 youth in respective areas.
The rural BPO project by John Keells Holding PLC has proved to be a sustainable business model, creating economic benefits to the company whilst simultaneously generating sustainable employment opportunities for rural youth.
Sri Lanka’s reconciliation and reconstruction program includes a wider spectrum of aspects in order to build the lives of people and communities affected by 30 years of conflict. More than 12000 ex-combatants have been successfully reintegrated in to the society with a variety of vocational skills by Bureau Commissioner General of Rehabilitation (BCGR), the government agency responsible for rehabilitation of ex-combatants in Sri Lanka.