Sri Lanka to develop labour, attract workers overseas: PM

Ranil-Wickramasinghe-new

Aug 12, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that it is time for a new human resource policy to go hand in hand with the economic development plan which will be outlined soon.

“Skilled human capital is essential to harness the key advantages of Sri Lanka like the strategic geographic location, create one million jobs, meet growth aspirations of a fast expanding middle class and revitalise the rural economy,” he said inaugurating the first ever Sri Lanka Human Capital Summit at the Taj Samudra.

“We are keen to develop a highly competitive social market economy with an open economic policy and business model attracting foreign direct investments.”

He says that a new Education and Employment Act is being looked at and that the Human Resources Development Agency and Employment Relations Council are now in the process of making it happen.

“The new Acts will take forward the Government’s plans for education to employment and provide the legal framework for policies for human resources development,” Wickremesinghe said.

“We are also looking at compulsory education of 13 years and other required reforms.”

He said that currently talks are ongoing with the German government to see if the island can adopt their dual system with technical education.

Human resources is also the greatest strength of Sri Lanka but a mind set change is required, he stressed.

“Our local businesses have a low wage mentality. We need to change this mindset,” he said. “We need to carry everyone with us and leave none as part of our social market economy policy.”

The Premier says that it is a must to bring back the one million people who are working outside the country. “For this Sri Lankan businesses need to offer pay and perks that are more competitive and more with the regions best.”

“This can be done as we are progressing towards establishing Sri Lanka as a financial hub to fill the gap between Singapore and Dubai.”

The Sri Lanka Human Capital Summit will continue today and will close with a leadership panel discussion involving key business leaders. Mahinda Samarasinghe and Professor Dave Ulrich will deliver key note addresses on the skills challenges facing Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Human Capital is a public – private initiative between the state National Human Resource Development Council of Sri Lanka (NHRDC) and the Association of HR Practitioners (AHRP) supported by the the Employers Federation of Ceylon, ILO, ADB and the World Bank was formed to develop a national agenda to discuss and find solutions to some of the critical Human Resource challenges facing Sri Lanka.