Australia supports tourism skills development in Eastern, Northern Provinces

DFT-19-8

Australian High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson, Minister for Skills Development and Vocational Training Mahinda Samarasinghe and Chief Minister for the Eastern Province Nazeer Ahamed officially opened the project office for the Skills for Inclusive Growth Program in Batticaloa. They were joined by GA Mrs Charles.

DFT-19-9The Skills for Inclusive Growth Project team joined by Australian High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson, Minister for Skills Development and Vocational Training Mahinda Samarasinghe and Chief Minister for the Eastern Province Nazeer Ahamed to celebrate the official opening of the project office for the Skills for Inclusive Growth Program in Batticaloa. They were joined by GA Mrs Charles and Counsellor from the Australian High Commission Charlotte Blundell

Australian High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson together with the Minister for Skills Development and Vocational Training Mahinda Samarasinghe, last week officially opened the project office for the Skills for Inclusive Growth Program in Batticaloa. They were joined by the Chief Minister for the Eastern Province Nazeer Ahamed.

Under the Skills for Inclusive Growth program Australia will provide around Rs. 1.6 billion in aid and technical assistance, to strengthen Sri Lanka’s tourism sector – through training and mentoring for employees and small businesses. The program will prioritise the underemployed, particularly local women, youth and people with a disability.

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 also soon be appointed to work with communities, businesses and officials in Ampara, Trincomalee and Pollonnaruwa, the target districts for the first four years.

Speaking at the event, the High Commissioner said: “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. 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.”

Minister Samarasinghe added, “I express my sincere gratitude to Australian High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson and the Australian Government for committing such a large sum of money for the future development of Sri Lanka not as a loan but as a 100% grant, which is very rare to see in this day and age. This underscores the very special historic bilateral relationship that exists between the people of Australia and the people of Sri Lanka.”

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.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/article/597481/Australia-supports-tourism-skills-development-in-Eastern–Northern-Provinces#sthash.Q016yIz0.dpuf

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