Australia to boost Sri Lanka tourism skills with Rs1.6 bln


Jan 13, 2017 (LBO) – The Australian government will provide 1.6 billion rupees in aid and technical assistance, over four years, to strengthen Sri Lanka’s tourism sector, through training and mentoring for employees and small businesses.

The program will help Sri Lanka develop a highly-skilled labour force and place Sri Lanka as a premier tourist destination, a statement said.

The Skills for Inclusive Growth Program was launched by Australian High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson with Minister for Skills Development and Vocational Training the Mahinda Samarasinghe recently.

“Australia understands tourism. It is one of our most important exports. We also understand skills development.

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We have a world-class education system and one of the world’s best vocational training systems,” the Australian High Commissioner said.

The Program will benefit local communities and businesses – with an initial focus in Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Polonnaruwa districts.

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It will prioritise the underemployed, particularly local women, youth and people with a disability.

The program will support the full value chain of the tourism sector –for example, food suppliers, hospitality trainers, artisans, surf instructors, spa owners, accommodation providers, taxi drivers – as well as district planners, park rangers, industry regulators and business chambers.

“This is a time of hope and opportunity for Sri Lanka.

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Australia, as a long-standing partner, is glad to be playing a part in supporting Sri Lanka to build a bright future,” the High Commissioner added.

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