A German Vocational Skills Centre in … Sri Lanka

This Blog has mentioned the German vocational skills model several times. It is well rooted in the High School structure and, places a heavy emphasis – unlike the UK – on links to industrial sectors. I travel in the Indian Sub Continent often and, where the UK has allowed A4E to be UK PLCs default representative on all things to do with vocational skills, the German approach has been very different. Here’s a piece from Sri Lanka where the German Government is working directly with their Sri Lankan counterparts to build skills capacity. This last week, the foundation plaque for the Sri Lankan German Vocational Training Institute in Kilinochchi was unveiled. This is the largest vocational training facility in Northern Sri Lanka.

Germany has committed Euros 8 million for this project, which aims to provide vocational training opportunities to young men and women from conflict affected areas. It will offer three year courses to 400 full-time students and a variety of short-term courses to suit different occupational needs. The training institute is spread across 25 acres of land in Araviyalnagar, 5 km from Killinochchi town and will employ over 50 teachers.

“The youths of the North has gone through tremendous hardship. With German Tec North, we aim to give young women and men a better future. We also consider this to be a solid investment into a peaceful future for the country as a whole,” said German Ambassador Jens Ploetner. “German support for vocational training in Sri Lanka has been one of the most successful aspects of the long-standing cooperation between our two countries. I believe that this new facility will contribute to this success story in the future,” he said.

The Sri Lankan German Vocational Training Institute, Kilinochchi is the latest addition to the network of German funded vocation training centres in the island, including its flagship venture, German Tech, Moratuwa (CGTTI), which has trained thousands of students in the past 50 years.The institute will function under the Youth and Skills Development Ministry. The project is implemented by the German arm for development co-operation (GIZ, formerly known as GTZ) under the guidance of the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA).

The new facility which is expected to be constructed within 2 to 3 years will also include hostel facilities for trainees travelling from distant places. However, the first phase of training activities will commence shortly at the NAITA premises in Kilinochchi. Close collaboration with the private sector is sought to ensure that those trained will have access to gainful employment.

This project is a template that should be emulated by other nations with the experience to build vocational skills capacity. Any other examples out there that we can highlight?

This article was covered by the Sri Lankan Daily News, Saturday 24th March 2012


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