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

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