The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) called on contractors, investors including foreigners and the Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI), Sri Lanka, to pressure the Government to establish training institutes including vocational training institutes to address the shortage of skilled and unskilled labour required for development projects.

It was recently reported by foreign news agencies that according to the President of the CCI, Surath Wickramasinghe the country may have to import 100,000 itinerant foreign workers, to fill the shortage of skilled and unskilled manpower to work on a number of foreign funded projects, including the Colombo Port City and the Megapolis, within the next 10 years.

JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said that the Government had absconded on its responsibility with regards to connecting the unemployed, especially youth with contractors including hotel owners.

All that is required is for training institutes to be established which in turn would provide three to six months long courses to provide vocational training for the express purpose of creating job and employment opportunities suitable for the economy and ones which are based on the needs of the country, he added.

There is a shortage of labour in fields such as construction, hospitality (hotels and tourism) and beauty culture in Sri Lanka, he noted.

Although it is not practical to expect contractors to travel the length and breadth of the country to search for the unemployed seeking employment, if these vacancies in the job market are opened up to foreigners, there would be no jobs for the locals for the simple reason that migrant labour constitutes the cheapest form of labour in the world, he explained.