SLACMA in new initiative with Govt. to drive sustainable mobility

Monday, 12 October 2020 00:08 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Industry collaboration to foster qualified and skilled workforce to meet future demands

The Sri Lanka Automotive Component Manufacturers’ Association (SLACMA) and officials of the State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovations met recently to discuss ways and means of creating high-tech job opportunities through the development of the automobile industry in Sri Lanka. 

The discussion which viewed the possibilities of adapting to ensure the global demand for more sustainable, accessible and efficient mobility in the years to come, considered crucial points such as the extent to which autonomous vehicles (AVs) contribute to reducing local pollution and decarbonising the transport sector. How they will limit the number of cars on the road and the amount of space they use, and whether they will improve accessibility for all and help to cut mobility costs. 

SLACMA President Dimantha Jayawardena commenting on the initiative said: “We expect to meet the President in the near future to discuss the formulation of government policy for the development of this industry over the next 10 years. 

“It is imperative that we qualify and train our workforce to be capable of meeting the market demands. Therefore, the partnership between SLACMA and the Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovations is one of the most progressive steps that have been taken towards building the automotive component industry in Sri Lanka.”

He added: “Although the automotive industry in Sri Lanka has a history of nearly 60 years, there is a large sum of foreign exchange spent annually on importing vehicles. What is now seen in Sri Lanka is only the maintenance and servicing of vehicles. There are many foreign companies looking forward to starting vehicle assembly plants in Sri Lanka and we ought to be ready with the necessary skill, qualification and standards to be able to stand on par with other international players.” 

Among those present at the meeting were officials from the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC), Department of Technical Education and Training (DTET), National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), Vocational Training Authority (VTA) and the Ceylon German Technical Training Institute (CGTTI). Following the meeting, it was decided that the institutions under the Ministry which provide training in the field of automobile engineering and the 65 manufacturing institutions that are members of SLACMA would organise a one-day workshop to foster cooperation among the institutions.

The TVEC and NAITA will also update the curricula relating to the National Competency Standards (NCS) prepared by the TVEC in respect of identified subjects. It was also decided that the services of experts in motor engineering from SLACMA will be secured to establish new competency standards where such standards do not exist in respect of identified new job opportunities.

It has also been decided to obtain training facilities for the various advisors from the different training institutes to communicate the syllabuses to the students. This training will be sought from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). On-the-job training for the students will be secured from member institutions of SLACMA. 

NAITA, strives to meet the goals of the government of Sri Lanka by providing a competent and confident professional workforce conforming to the industrial requirements and standards. It is the primary State institution with the capacity to provide industry acceptable technical and vocational training in different disciplines for youth throughout the island and has facilities for industrial and institutional based training with comprehensive and modern training facilities and techniques.

SLACMA plays a major role in policy-making related to automotive component manufacturing in the country. It also encourages and enhances the development of the automobile component parts industry.