Ms Kay-Nina Forrer - First Secretary (Migration) – Embassy of Switzerland, Ms Kumudhini Rosa - Senior Advisor – Vocational Training in the North and the East of Sri Lanka (VTN) Project, Eng (Dr) Lionel Pinto - Chairman – Vocational Training Authority (VTA), Dr Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn - Ambassador of Switzerland to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Ms. Chulangani Perera - Director General - Vocational Training Authority (VTA), Daniel Schreiber - Portfolio Manager – GIZ Country Office Sri Lanka

Vocational Training Authority (VTA) announced the inauguration of two vocational training institutes in Trincomalee on July 8, 2015. The ‘Vocational Training in the North and East of Sri Lanka’ (VTN) project is a bilateral cooperation between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Federal Republic of Germany.

The project is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Kreditanstaltfür Wiederaufbau (German Development Bank – KfW) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project is co-funded by the State Secretariat for Migration of the Government of Switzerland. The Sri Lankan Governmental partner is the Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training.

The two institutes are amongst 11 planned satellite centers that will support the Sri Lankan-German Training Institute (SLGTI), the project’s flagship training center, currently under construction in Kilinochchi. The Trincomalee centers, located in Kinniya and Kantale which come under the Vocational Training Authority (VTA) have been renovated and equipped as a result of ‘Bridges to the Future’, a tripartite collaboration with the Swiss Government to strengthen the VTN project. The additional Swiss financing adds value to the current project initiatives and widens the reach of the VTN project in the North and East.

The inauguration, held at the District Vocational Training Center in Kantale, was graced by Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Eng (Dr) Lionel Pinto, Chairman of the Vocational Training Authority (VTA), and Ms. Kumudhini Rosa, Senior Advisor of GIZ VTN Project.

The GIZ VTN project is designed to improve demand-oriented vocational education and training in the North and East of Sri Lanka. The curriculum covers Electrical, ICT, Beauty Culture, Bakery, Aluminium Fabrication, Welding and Tailoring courses with a focus on English for up to 160 students in the both centers. In addition to technical skills, social integration and the development of social skills will be integral aspects of the training process.

The centers are state-of-the-art, serving to equip the youth from the North and East with the skills they need to compete in the labor market. Marginalized groups such as war widows and persons with disabilities will have access to the training. Multi-lingual public awareness campaigns have been carried out to communicate the benefits of the training courses.