Category Archives: Employment for Persons with Disabilities

ICT Working Session on ‘Empowering Sri Lankan Youth’ includes persons with disabilities in their agenda

ICT Working Session on ‘Empowering Sri Lankan Youth’ includes persons with disabilities in their agenda


ICT Working Session on ‘Empowering Sri Lankan Youth’ was Co –hosted by The National Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka in collaboration with World University Service of Canada (WUSC). The objectives of the Working Session was to:

 to bring together ICT related apex bodies, TVET providers and potential Job Providers who have an interest in seeing rural youth gainfully employed in the ICT sector.

 To connect TVET providers to potential ICT Job Providers and meet the entry level manpower requirements of the ICT industry.

 To identify the high demand job openings in the ICT sector and equip TVET providers to deliver market driven courses that meet the exact skills required by the ICT Industry.

The target Audience was, IT, BPO & SMART / telecommunication providers who have an interest to employ youth coming from marginalized life backgrounds. The Working Session was held at Taj Samudra Hotel in March 2016.

Presentations by a cross section of vocational training partners, Experience sharing from a leading ICT company in outsourcing business activities to rural centres and Working Session on identifying suggestions / recommendations to meet the ICT Industry’s Entry Level manpower requirements were discussed broadly.

Welcome Address was by Mr. Thilak Godamanna – Chairman – The National Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Esther McIntosh – Country Director – WUSC-SL gave the Opening Speech. Introduction to ASSET was delivered by Mr. Deepthi Lamahewa – Deputy Programs Director-WUSC-SL. Presentations by the following cross section of vocational training partners made the programme interesting and informative.

Vocational Training Authority – Mrs. Chulangani Perera – Director General, Sarvodaya Fusion – Mr. Isura Silva– General Manager, Employers’ Federation of Ceylon – Ms. Manique Gunaratne made a presentation on ICT training and employment for persons with diverse disabilities, KASP Learning – Mr. Roshan de- Lima- CEO, Infogate Sri Lanka – Mr. IsharaMadushanka– Manager, Experience sharing in outsourcing business activities to rural centres – MrJehanPerinpanayagam – CEO, infoMate (Pvt) Ltd.

Panel Discussion was on Youth Employment: How can rural youth be equipped with necessary skills to prosper in the ICT sector? Panelists included Mr.PriyangaGunasekera – Chairman ICT Sector – The National Chamber; Prof. GihanWikramanayake – Director University of Colombo School of Computing; Mr. LasithaDevendra – Dean Faculty of IT, Aquinas University College; Mr. Jude Cedric – Chief Technology Officer – Zelcom International.

Working Session was Facilitated by M/s Denzil Fernando &Sanath Manage – WUSC on:

  1. Suggestions / Recommendations on how rural youth from districts like Matara, Hambantota, Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Jaffna,

Vavuniya, Mannar&Puttlam could be equipped for employment in the ICT Industry’s Entry Level Requirement.

  1. The possibility of participating companies to offer entry level employment in the IT, BPO and SMART / telecommunication for rural youth.
  2. The ways in which ICT companies could provide support for VT providers to deliver market driven trainings.


Picture descriptions:

1 Appreciation by WUSC to Maniqueappreciation by wusc

2 Audience.audience

3 Manique making the presentation.manique making presentation 1

4 Manique making the presentation.manique making presentation 3

5 Manique with WUSC staff.manique with wusc staff


Manique Gunaratne

Member – Asia Pacific Women with Disability United


World University Services of Canada (WUSC) partnered with the employers’ federation of Ceylon (EFC) to include people with disabilities


World University Services of Canada (WUSC) is implementing a project titled ‘Advancing Specialized Skills for Economic Transformation’ (ASSET) project till 2019.

Under ASSET, it has been envisaged to train 4,000 youth for entry level jobs with the private sector in the following high demand sectors: Tourism & Hospitality, Information & Communication Technology, Construction and Automotive.  Training will be made available to these young people, only after identifying companies where they could be employed after the training.

They are planning on targeting youth coming from disadvantage backgrounds and youth who are dropped out of the formal education systems (O/Ls and A/Ls). These targeted youth will come from the following 11 districts in Sri-Lanka. They are: Matara, Hambantota, Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Mullaitiv, Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Vavuniya, and Mannar & Puttlam. Scholarships covering the

Training costs will be made available for women, orphan children, youth coming from single parent headed homes, differently abled and ex-combatants covering Social inclusion and Gender Equality.

Advancing Specialized Skills for Economic Transformation (hereinafter referred to as ASSET) project will work in support of those Government of Sri Lanka and private sector goals for the skills development of Sri Lankan youth.

EFC has an interest in developing relevant employability skills among youth with disabilities in key sectors in Sri Lanka in conjunction with its corporate membership through: improving training relevance and quality, and, providing pre-employment training, career opportunities and guidance for trainees.

WUSC-SL and EFC will develop a framework of cooperation to strengthen linkages between the two parties to identify market-driven job requirements in the major four service sectors (tourism & hospitality, information & communication technology, automotive/mechanical and construction) that are geared to drive significant economic growth in the rest of this decade, to encourage the vocational training institutes to train especially youth with disabilities to enter into these identified job openings and to advance the welfare and employment of female and male trainees and marginalized youth.

The project’s goal is: to increase income potential for key economic drivers in Sri Lanka through enhanced skills and national recognition of the value of the trades and technologies sector and respect for the technical skills of trades.

The three key outcome results of ASSET are as follows:

  • Improved linkages between government training institutions and private sector to collaborate on skills for employment and workplace learning;
  • Enhanced capacity of partner organizations to plan and manage skills for employment training for Sri Lankan youth in priority sectors (hospitality & tourism, information & communication technology, construction, automotive/mechanical);
  • Increased acceptance of careers in trades and technologies as worthwhile occupations for skilled youth through a social marketing campaign which will promote the dignity of labour using a gender sensitive approach.

EFC will:

  • Liaise with its membership and other private business entities to facilitate the identification of jobs that are open for persons with disabilities;
  • Contribute to the elaboration of the training selection criteria which will take into account persons with disabilities, marginalized women, ex-combatants and re-settlers from ASSET operational districts; and
  • Facilitate through its membership, on-the-job training and placement opportunities for persons with disabilities.

The signing of the MOU was held at Kingsbury Hotel in June 2015. The Chief Guest for the event was the High Commissioner for Canada, Her Excellency Shelly Whiting.

Welcome note was delivered by Ms. Angele Touchette.

NPTA Secretary – Mr.  Kisho Anton shared his experience and thoughts on ASSET Project.

Mr. Upul Pinnawala – Principal KVTC –shared his thoughts & experience as a VT provider.

A brief PowerPoint Presentation on what the WUSC team has achieved so far was by the Interim Country Director.

Mr. Sampath Liyanage – President – SLCBC –shared his experience and thoughts on ASSET.

Mr. Vajira Ellepola – Asst. Director General spoke on EFC.

Ms. H.K. Manique Gunaratne shared on The Disability Network and the Training done by EFC.

Mr. Azmi Thassim – Past President / Consultant – Hambantota Chamber shared his experience and thoughts on working with WUSC.

Simon Jones – Global Director Programs – WUSC also addressed the gathering.

Ms. Manique Gunaratne will coordinate the project for EFC.



Manique Gunaratne

Web:   www.bizdirectory.lkunnamed (1) unnamed (2) unnamed (3) unnamed


The Canadian High Commission and W.U.S.C. (World University Services in Canada is implementing the ASSET (Advancing Special Skills for Economic Transformation) Project. The team will focus more on women, youth and will also include persons with disabilities. The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon will support to develop the skills of persons with disabilities. In March 2015 the Canadian High Commissioner, Her Excellency Shelley Whiting held a reception to introduce this project at the Canada House. There were representatives from the High Commission of Canada, representatives from W.U.S.C., public and private sector companies and vocational training institutes. Ms. Manique Gunaratne was also invited for the reception.