Seminar on Fundamental Changes for Vocational Education Sector

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The National Human Resources Development Council of Sri Lanka (NHRDC) together with The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL), Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), The International Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ICC), Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (SLITHM) have organized a key seminar.

This seminar will be held on May 21 at 2.30 pm at the Auditorium of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, 30A, Malalasekara Mw, Colombo 07 to discuss the fundamental changes the vocational education sector in Sri Lanka required for Sri Lanka to be competitive in a tight labor market characterized by low unemployment, relatively high underemployment, and a high proportion of employment in elementary occupations.

It is estimated around 1.5 million Sri Lankans are in employment overseas, mostly as unskilled workers.

It is imperative for the government to train the workers and develop their skills in order to match available opportunities both here and overseas – more so in Sri Lanka than overseas. The challenge TVET (Technical & Vocational Education and Training) has is to impart skills to the workforce as quickly as possible to fill the gap in the workforce.

Given this background, and in consideration of the increasingly competitive nature of the global and local markets to improve the technical and vocational skills of the labor force, TVET providers need to be very innovative and more oriented towards industry demand.

In Sri Lanka, TVET comprises public, private, and nongovernment providers. The public sector continues to be the dominant player, with the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) serving as the sector’s apex body. The TVET sector operates through a nationwide training service network with an annual enrollment around 200,000 students.

Public TVET service providers account for 71% of the total enrollment compared with the private sector (19%) and NGOs (10%). Public expenditure for TVET was about LKR 10.6 billion in 2017. However, according to an ADB report in 2015, about 28% of the unemployed having TVET training did not process right skills for the right job revealing a skills-jobs mismatch and a shortage of talent..

Dhammika Perera will grace the event as the chief guest and David McKinnon, High Commissioner for Canada in Sri Lanka will be the Guest of Honour and the Keynote Speaker.

The event will be followed by a panel discussion. Dinesh Weerakkody, Chairman, National Human Resources Development Council of Sri Lanka, and the International Chamber of Commerce will moderate the panel discussion.

The Panelists are:

Dhammika Perera, Chairman Vallibel One PLC; David McKinnon, High Commissioner to Canada; Jagath Perera, President, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka; Dhammika Fernando, President, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management; Dinesh Weerakkody, Chairman, NHRDC and ICC (Moderator).