Vocational training centres to boost Southern youth talents
GALLE: The United States has played a big role in developing areas
devastated by the tsunami in the South as well as the North and East and
improving the lifestyles of the affected people, said Vocational and
Technical Training Minister Piyasena Gamage.
He was addressing several meetings held at Hikkaduwa, Ahangama and
Koggala to mark the laying of foundation stones for three vocational
centres to be built under a Rs. 370 million USAID aid scheme recently.
He said for the first time in the country’s history the USAID has
provided funds totalling Rs. 1,125 million for the development of
vocational training sector. The proposed vocational centres at Ahangama,
Hikkaduwa and Koggala would be completed within 13 months.
Gamage said the Vocational Training Authority was established by the
President during his tenure as Labour and Vocational Training Minister
to develop youth skills to suit the local and foreign job market.
US Ambassador Robert Blake said the USAID programme and in Sri Lanka
had a history of over 50 years.
It came to the aid of Sri Lanka immediately after the tsunami tragedy
too. It has also helped to build Arugam Bay bridge, the longest bridge
in the country.
Vocational Training Authority Chairman Maj. Gen. Tilak Ponnamperuma,
Director General Bandula Thilakasiri, USAID’s Dr. Mike Gold, State
Mortgage and Investment Bank Chairman Chandima Weerakkody and Ratgama
SLFP Organiser Mohan P. de Silva also participated.