Feb 09, 2017 (LBO) – Under the skills for inclusive growth program Australia will provide around 1.6 billion rupees in aid and technical assistance, to strengthen Sri Lanka’s tourism sector through training.
“A profitable and sustainable tourism industry requires more than natural and cultural assets, which Sri Lanka has in abundance, it requires high-level hospitality skills,” said Bryce Hutchesson, Australian high commissioner.
“Skills for inclusive growth will train and mentor those already employed in tourism; as well as future employees in the tourism industry, as the sector evolves to meet the needs of local and international visitors.”
The program will prioritise the underemployed, particularly local women, youth and people with a disability and mentoring for employees and small businesses.
The program will support the full value chain of the tourism sector: 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.
Minister for Skills Development and Vocational Training, Mahinda Samarasinghe, officially opened the project office in Batticaloa while Chief Minister for the Eastern Province, Nazeer Ahamed was also present.
The office in Batticaloa will act as the central hub for the project and will house a team of international and national vocational training experts.
District coordinators will soon be appointed to work with communities, businesses and officials in Ampara, Trincomalee and Pollonnaruwa, the target districts for the first four years.
Minister Samarasinghe thanked the Australian Government for committing such a large sum of money for the future development of Sri Lanka not as a loan but a 100 percent grant.
“This underscores the very special historic bilateral relationship that exists between the people of Australia and the people of Sri Lanka.”