The government is planning to provide vocational and technical training for 35 percent of youths by 2016 under the Mahinda Chinthanaya. Plans are also underway to increase state university intake up to 10 percent. The government also provided vocational and technical training to over 100,000 youths in state institutions in 2011, Sri Lanka Freedom Party Treasurer and Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma says.
The minister in an interview with the Daily News also touched on facts and historical events that have a direct link to political developments and current affairs in Sri Lanka.
Q: How are you planning to solve the issue of unemployment among youths?
A: Unemployment has become a single digit in Sri Lanka today. The percentage of unemployment at national level is less than six percent. The percentage of unemployment among youths is a little higher than the national percentage.
The main reason for this is our education and economic system. Persons who do not get university education were sidelined in society and in the economic process. The university became the core of everything, such as, society, culture, politics and economy. But unfortunately state universities accommodated only around five percent of qualified students. The rest (95 percent) were left without a proper future path, plan or programme.
Under the Mahinda Chinthanaya – Vision for the Future, President Mahinda Rajapaksa very clearly understood this situation and offered a solution. He stressed the importance of increasing the intake for state universities and looked into the issues of the rest.
University education is only one part of tertiary education. Vocational and technical education was forgotten in the past. But under the Mahinda Chinthanaya, the Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry was set up to make Sri Lankan youths skillful. For the first time in Sri Lankan history, it was accepted as a policy and a national action plan was launched. Only less than five percent of qualified students were admitted to state universities and around 14 percent received vocational training or technical training in 2005…
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