Thursday, 8 August 2002  
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Sunday Observer

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Youth Corps Bill to enhance employability and skills

by Our Parliament Correspondent

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe introducing the Youth Corps Bill to Parliament yesterday observed that the project seeks to equip youth to fill into the future employment market whilst also fostering racial amity.

He said all the activities of the Youth Corps will come under the scrutiny of a parliament select committee.

With the Government gearing itself for an accelerated development programme the need for a skilled workforce has become an urgent necessity and the Bill seeks to achieve this objective.

The youth selected on electoral basis would be accommodated in non-residential camps for their training in a gamut of deciplines including Computer Science, English, and the latest technical know how so that they could fit into different sectors.

They will be paid a monthly allowance of Rs. 2000 for a training period of 18 months.

He said the training will be linked to several ministries and what is needed is the co-ordination to achieve the desired results. In this connection a Board would be set up with the necessary officials to oversee the co-ordination.

The members of the youth corps would also engage on other pursuits such as renovation of rural tanks and allied activity.

The premier noted that unemployment was a burning problem at present and the youth should be equipped with the necessary moderns technical skills if they are to be absorbed into the future job market.

Through this Bill the Government was hoping to achieve this objective by providing an opportunity for the youth to secure a better future.

A Central Bank report placed the unemployed figure at half a million but the overall figure could be as much as two million taking into account underemployment and casual employment, the premier noted.

He said the selection to the youth corps would cut across all ethnic barriers while providing the youth with the necessary strength to secure a better future would also ensure racial amity.

Sampath Bank

Crescat Development Ltd.

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