As a collaborative event in commemoration with World Youth Skills Day 2018, CISCO Networking Academy, Faculty of Technology, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka and WUSC (World University Services of Canada) organized a half a day event at the Auditoriu Faculty of Technology in South Eastern University on July 9th 2018. As stakeholders promoting IT sector in Sri Lanka this event brought about 200 youth ranging from IT undergraduates at the University and other Vocational Training Institutions in Ampara District.
Head of the Department of Information and Communication Technology. S.L Abdual Haleem delivered the Welcome address followed by the key-note address by Dean of the Faculty of Technology Dr. M.G.M Thariq.
WUSC's Manager Gender Equality & Social Inclusion P.Puvaneswary updated the current activities of job driven Vocational Skills program that the organization has been implementing in 11 Districts of the three Provinces of North, East & South of Sri Lanka. She did presentation on "Strengthening ICT Sector in SriLanka".
Next, an excellent session on "Why we need IT and what are the opportunities" facilitated by Kalhari Kaluarachchi, Program Manager, CISCO Networking Academy. This was an eye opening session for the youth to know about the current trends in digitalization of the ICT sector and what would be some of the job opportunities and career in the ICT world. Her session was followed by an open forum where the audience was given opportunities to ask questions. Ms Kalhari also shared her inspiring story of CISCO Networking Academy, a branch of Cisco specializing in identifying and developing the skills people and businesses need to thrive in a digital economy, World University Services of Canada (WUSC) a non-for-profit organization with a mandate to build the Sri Lankan youth and female workforce partnered to host this event together with South Eastern University of Sri Lanka. Youth who participated in this program personal experience as a woman how she succeeded in her career.
At the end youth realized that where are they now in their career and how they fit themselves in the future of Sri Lanka were also given the access to free online certificate courses in Introduction to Cyber Security by CISCO Network Academy.
Ishara Madushanka(Secretary) and Wicknaraj (Vice President) from Eastern Chamber ICT together with Celene Fund, Strategic Planner and Advisor WUSC were facilitated on how ECICT providing opportunities to develop leadership and mentorship chapter that would benefitted not only people from Eastern Province but from all over SriLanka.Sri Lanka has made important strides in providing access to ICT, and the digital literacy rate of citizens has been steadily rising with the adoption of ICT as a key priority by the country (World Bank, 2015, SRI LANKA: INNOVATION, ICT AND COMPETITIVENESS discussion paper). Sri Lanka has also set the goal of becoming a knowledge economy with $5 billion in revenue and 200,000 jobs by the year 2020. Despite this growth and ambitious goals, the female labour market continues to remain untapped by businesses, with Sri Lanka having the 20th largest gender gap in labor force participation (LFP) globally, impeding the country's goals for growth and equity (World Bank, 2015).
Finally, Senior Lecturer of the Faculty RKA Rifai Kariapper proposed vote of thanks.