Sri Lankan youth in former war zone get US training

May 14, 2009 (LBO) – The US Agency for International Development (USAID) said it is providing training scholarships to 500 young people from Sri Lanka’s north and east which is recovering from decades of war. The scholarships are given through the agency’s Unlimited Potential Partnership program (UPP) which currently provides workforce training programs in three key industries – apparel, media, and tourism.

Courses in agriculture will begin soon, the agency said in a statement.

“These four sectors account for roughly 39 percent of all jobs in Sri Lanka.”

It is also giving training in information and communication technology (ICT) as Sri Lankan companies require a workforce with strong IT skills to compete globally.

“We are extremely pleased to provide 500 young people with the opportunity to upgrade their technology skills and find good jobs that will bring them financial independence,” said USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn.

“A USAID-funded study showed that the demand for ICT graduates is greater than the supply.

“By training more young people with ICT skills, we can help Sri Lankan businesses be more competitive and support economic development in the East and North, wh