Enabling employable youth

Monday, 25 March 2013 00:48 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Continuing to empower the youth, the lifeline of the Nation, HSBC announced a joint initiative with Microsoft Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Education, Sarvodaya-Fusion and Global Talent Coach and Consultants to train and develop 400 young people in the North, East, South and West of the county through IT and leadership skills.

According to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development, Sri Lanka has a population of five million youth equating to 26% of the total population. Each year, around 280,000 students leave the school education system having completed their GCE (O/L) and GCE (A/L) examinations.

Hence, 92% of young people are seeking alternate avenues leading to productive employment opportunities.

As such, this program aims to identify 400 potential youth in Jaffna, Matara, Batticaloa and Ja-Ela, and equip them with the required leadership and IT skills, enabling them to be future leaders driving the economic and development goals of the country.

Both Microsoft and HSBC believe that Sri Lanka’s youth holds immense potential as the next generation leaders, and it is expected of them to contribute to the development of the economy and ensure a better and more prosperous future with the use of technology.

Microsoft has pledged to make a substantial investment through their world recognised curricula to train young people in IT skills. The training programs will be conducted over a period of six months with an allocated time for practical sessions, theory and revision.

Each course will cover the basics of essential computing skills that are required for employment and help build self-confidence which will enable participants to apply IT in their day to day operations.  Microsoft will make further investment towards the development of the program in all four provinces.

“IT skills are important no matter where you find employment, as computers have become a basic tool that is used in almost every office, today. Microsoft Sri Lanka is no novice when it comes to our engagement in similar projects.  

“We have initiated or been part of a number of IT education programs in this country and worked with the Education Ministry to improve the IT curricula of local schools. During the last eight years of our operations, we helped to bridge the digital divide in Sri Lanka, in a number of ways and we are happy to partner with HSBC in another project, which will help to empower our youth and make their brighten their future,” Microsoft Sri Lanka Country Manager Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne said.

The selection of young people from these areas will be done in consultation with the Ministry of Education, whose mission is to develop competent citizens through innovative and modern approaches to education leading to efficiency, equity and high quality performance, ensuring stakeholder satisfaction.

HSBC will work in tandem with all partners to ensure the progress of the intended programs. The Bank will proactively launch events in each Province, to foster participation of students, teachers and parents in creating further awareness among the residents in the localities.  HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives Chief Executive Officer Nick Nicolaou said: “Expanding experiences and access to IT education, as well as providing leadership based training will facilitate a much needed development and employment opportunity for these young people. We hope this on-going support will be used effectively in working towards the set goals in making themselves competent and an economic resource for the future.”

As the main implementing partner of the project, Sarvodaya Fusion will help facilitate these programs at their training centres located island-wide.   

Sarvodaya Fusion Manager Isura Silva stated: “As a social enterprise, Sarvodaya Fusion empowers rural telecentres to be financially sustainable through ‘Fusion Education’ which has trained more than 3,000 students since 2009.

“Fusion Education constantly renews its approach to cater to emerging education demands to enhance the quality of IT skills of rural youth. It’s great to connect again with HSBC and Microsoft in these projects who believe in employability of young people in their CSR programs.”

The leadership trainings will be conducted by Global Talent Coach and Consultants (GTCC) whose primary role is to promote corporate training, talent development, business coaching and consultancy.

GTCC serves as a catalyst for exchange of global knowledge and expertise and linking together operational, tactical and management fraternities in the organisations from all spectrums of human endeavour.

The course content will cover effective time management, team work, setting of goals and objectives, engaging in conversation and exchanging ideas, facilitating meetings and making effective presentations.   

HSBC’s support towards education has been demonstrated through many projects initiated in the past with corporates. Most recently the bank partnered Microsoft and IDM Group of Companies to provide job oriented IT skills to young people island-wide in the apparel, tourism and agriculture sectors. Under this project, HSBC provided 500 part scholarships.

In 2009, HSBC together with Microsoft and Sarvodaya Fusion provided scholarships to young people in the North, East and the South. In addition, HSBC also provided 25 computers to the Sarvodaya centre in the North to conduct the program.