Anoja Senanayake receiving the award for outstanding performance
The inaugural batch of the Executive Diploma in Employment Relations which is a collaborative venture between the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) and the International Training Centre (ITC) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) received their diplomas at a ceremony held at the Mövenpick Hotel recently.
EFC Chairman Pravir Samarasinghe graced the event as the chief guest and gave away certificates to the graduates along with EFC former Director General Gotabaya Dasanayaka, who now functions as a member of the Board of Studies.
A unique professional qualification designed to meet the demands of the modern employment relations, the diploma comprised modules on labour law, human resource management, industrial relations, labour economics and occupational health and safety. Tailor-made for multiple beneficiaries including HR managers and consultants, executives, researchers and academics, the course content of this one-year program was delivered by some of the best industry experts, academics as well as the professional staff of the EFC.
As the Assistant Director General (Advisory Services)/Head of Training at the EFC, Yashoravi Bakmiwewa noted, the Diploma marked a milestone for the EFC as the first national employers’ organisation to hold a partnership with the ITC-ILO. The Diploma in Employment Relations is also aligned with the Sri Lanka Qualification Framework (SLQF). Thanking her predecessor Ayomi Fernando and the present Director General of the EFC, Kanishka Weerasinghe and the Senior Consultant, Human Resource Development of the EFC, Dr. K.L. Chandratilleke for taking this course off the ground, Bakmiwewa congratulated the first batch of diploma holders for being brand ambassadors for the future.
Applications for the third intake are now being called and the course of studies is scheduled to commence in January 2020, she added.
Applauding the diploma holders for successfully completing the one-year course despite their demanding professional commitments, Program Officer, International Training Centre (ITC) of the ILO, Sandro Pettineo remarked that the knowledge reaped from it will certainly contribute to the growth of their professional careers. “It is precisely for the quality of this programme and the professionalism of the EFC team that we, at the ITC-ILO, are very pleased to support the Diploma. We see the quality, we see the value and we are happy to collaborate with the EFC to continue with the Executive Diploma Program.”
Remarking that the ITC-ILO is devoted to building the capacity of Employers’ Organisations and strengthening their voice, Pattineo averred that the ability to offer quality services to members, such as the Executive Diploma, is one of the results that his organisation works for.
Lauding the EFC for the inspiration it offers, the ITC-ILO representative further noted that his organisation is pleased to be continuing to pledge its support towards the Diploma as well as the EFC. “At the ITC-ILO we see that this could be a way to improve the visibility for the organisation, attract more members and further strengthen the role that the EFC plays at the national and regional level and beyond.”
Sharing her sentiments at the awards ceremony, NDB Bank PLC Manager Human Resources Anoja Senanayake, who clinched the award as the ‘batch top’ remarked that, although the course was structured to be an Executive Diploma, the knowledge and value it imparted was equivalent to that of an MBA. “Being a lawyer, industrial relations and labour laws are home ground for me. However, this diploma gave me an opportunity to study the new amendments to legislation in depth and new study areas including health and safety, international conventions and the standards of the ILO, demographics and labour statistics of Sri Lanka, Labour Economics, sustainability and environmental aspects as well as the best practices in the industry.”
Senanayake further noted that the course also enabled her to interact with some of the best industry and professional experts as well as leading academics. “The insights shared by these personalities were enlightening and beneficial for my career. I’m grateful to the management of the EFC for creating a forum to meet these experts,” she added.