First batch of Field Officers graduate Hayleys Plantations Technical Skills Programme

First batch of Field Officers from rubber estates graduating the Technical Skills Development Programme.

Hayleys Plantations set a new benchmark for the Sri Lankan Plantations Sector as 80 of its Field Officers became the first-ever graduates of the company’s groundbreaking Technical Skills Development Programme (HPTDP- Tea and Rubber).

Harnessing decades of unmatched technical and practical knowledge retained within the organisation, the course was conducted primarily by veteran Estate and Deputy Estate Managers from Hayleys Plantations, together with respected academic leaders in the field from the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, the Tea Research Institute and Rubber Research Institute.

 “Especially in an environment of such great uncertainty, it is our knowledge and dedication to excellence that sets us apart. To ensure that we remain resilient, we must combine the latest best practices with Hayleys Plantations’ extensive experience and knowledge in harvesting and field operations. Developing this course led us to identify areas of improvement while also enhancing the collective knowledge of our workforce,” stated Hayleys Plantations Managing Director, Dr. Roshan Rajadurai.

 “Therefore, we take this opportunity to congratulate our inaugural graduating batch of Field Officers warmly and salute their outstanding dedication to the values that continue to make Hayleys Plantations one of the world’s most respected producers of the highest quality Ceylon tea and natural rubber,” he also stated.

 Conducted across 44 lectures for tea and 40 lectures for rubber, respectively, the Technical Skills Development internal certificate course was conducted at the Hayleys Plantations training centres in Hatton, Pedro and Dewalakanda. Curated by the Human Resources Division of Hayleys Plantations, the course effectively achieved all training and development KPIs of the company.

 Meanwhile, the graduation ceremony was hosted under strict social distancing protocols at the Dambulla Athletic and Cricket Club in Radella with Senior Professor Buddhi Marambe from the Faculty of Agriculture, the University of Peradeniya as the Chief Guest. Dr. M. Wijerathne and Dr. Mahasen Ranatunge from TRI were Guests of Honour at the ceremony.

 “The main objectives of the course were to enhance the technical knowledge of our Field Officers through the study of new scientifically researched processes while developing the skills of our managers in communication, presentation and industry research. We are proud to say we achieved a high training yield ratio with a recorded success rate of 98% and a learner’s satisfaction rate of 93%,” Kelani Valley Plantations General Manager – HR & Corporate Sustainability – Anuruddha Gamage said.

Ranked as one of the worlds most respected and innovative plantation groups, Hayleys Plantations has continuously invested in employee upskilling. Over the recent past, 100 of the group’s Field Officers were also selected for the NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) and the first-ever National Skills Passport (NSP) programme in the plantations industry.

 Similarly, the company has consistently won local and global recognition for its pioneering approach to human resources management, including the first-ever Global HR Excellence Award, Asia- Pacific HR Excellence Awards for two consecutive years and the National HR Excellence and Great HR Practices Award for three years.

 Hayleys Plantations also bagged an impressive four Gold Awards, four Silver Awards, four Bronze Awards and two Merit Awards at the Social Dialogue and Workplace Cooperation Awards organised by the Department of Labour. Hayleys Plantations subsidiaries, Kelani Valley Plantations PLC (KVPL), was especially honoured with a Gold Award in the Small Scale Category- Service Sector, an impressive feat as it was the first time the award was presented to a plantation company.

 KVPL further consolidated its reputation locally when it won the Gold Award for Overall Excellence at the National Business Excellence Awards 2019 as the second plantation company to win the prestigious title, an honour typically reserved for Sri Lanka’s largest blue-chip companies. Notably, sister company Talawakele Tea Estates PLC (TTEL) garnered recognition as the first-ever plantations company to win the Gold for Overall Excellence at the National Business Excellence Awards 2018.

 Both plantations companies were also recognised internationally as country winners at the prestigious Hallbars Sustainability Report Awards 2020. KVPL’s Annual Report for 2017/2018, ‘Growth Beyond Measure’, was recognised as the Best in the world in the Tea Category. Similarly, TTEL was presented with two Silver Awards at the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards (ASRA) 2019.

 Established in 1878 by Chas. P. Hayley, as a trading house in Galle specialising in import and export, the Hayleys Group has since grown to serve as a centrepiece of the Sri Lankan economy while maintaining a global presence of manufacturing and marketing offices across five regions with business interests spanning a total of 16 sectors. Today it stands out as one of Sri Lanka’s most prominent success stories, having been the first listed Sri Lankan corporate to surpass US$ 1billion in revenue and accounting for 3.3% of the nation’s total export earnings.