First District Public Employment Services Centre opened in Vavuniya for young jobseekers

Friday, 19 June 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


A female jobseeker receiving a letter of appointment from ILO Country Director Li


The PES Centre is ceremonially opened by Labour Ministry Secretary Herath Yapa and ILO Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Country Director Donglin Li



The District Public Employment Services (PES) Centre of the Vavuniya District was declared open by Labour Ministry Secretary Herath Yapa and International Labour Organization (ILO) Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Country Director Donglin Li at the District Secretariat on 11 June.

The centre will be part of the national network of employment services of the Department of Manpower and Employment. The Vavuniya Centre was refurbished, furnished and equipped through funds released to the ILO under the European Union Support for District Development Programme (EU-SDDP).

The ILO Office, under the EU-SDDP, has planned to support the establishment of four district PES Centres in the districts of Ampara, Batticaloa, Mannar and Vavuniya to help resolve youth unemployment issues. 

Vavuniya District Secretary Bandula Harischandra welcomed all the event’s invitees and expressed his appreciation over the selection of Vavuniya for the establishment of the first PES Centre in the North. He also pointed out that youth unemployment within Vavuniya was a serious issue which needed to be addressed in order to improve the economic conditions of people living within the district. 

In his address, Li stressed that the main development issue in the districts he visited within the week was a high youth unemployment rate. ILO, through its projects, addresses this issue through three main interventions: strengthening the cooperative movements in these districts to create more employment opportunities, supporting demand-oriented courses to enhance skills capacity of youth to prepare them for new employment and expanding employment services within the district to match jobseekers with labour market demands. 

He also expressed that the ILO extended its full support to these areas in order to help youth gain more employment opportunities.

The ceremony’s Chief Guest, Yapa, emphasised that the Department of Manpower and Employment was one of the two main departments within his ministry and he would extend it his fullest support to make employment services accessible to the general public. 

He thanked the Vavuniya District Secretary for accommodating this district centre within the premises of the District Secretariat. He also thanked the EU and ILO for providing financial and technical support for its establishment.

Department of Manpower and Employment Director General H.G.G.J. Dharmasena said that his department had planned to expand the network of PES centres island-wide and these centres would be further strengthened with donor and consolidated funds to serve the youth from each district. 

He thanked ILO for collaborating with the department to help it achieve its objective of developing a world-class Sri Lankan workforce. He emphasised that all the services provided by PES Centres were free of charge.  

The district PES Centre launched its services by handing over appointment letters to 10 female jobseekers from Hirdaramani Garments in Vavuniya and conducted a career guidance session for 30 jobseekers.

For further information contact Sivapragasam Ramalingam, National Programme Coordinator, EU SDDP SKILLED Project, ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives through [email protected] or 94652228312. More details are also available at