Sri Lanka can help citizens better themselves by removing obstacles to creating new and better jobs, including for women, the World Bank said.
The development agency based on the theme of its World Development Report 2013, says creating opportunities for jobs are critical for reducing poverty.
“One of the biggest challenges facing Sri Lanka is to improve women’s employment opportunities, especially for the young female population,” Jesko Hentschel, co-author of the report said in a statement.
“Around the world, we find that more women working come with real developmental gains – much beyond the income they earn from their jobs.
“Investment in children rises, more girls and women attend education and training classes as aspirations increase, and the way decisions in societies are being made matures.”
In 2010, only 28 percent of young women aged 15-24 participated in the labor force in Sri Lanka (compared to 50 percent of young men), the World Bank said.
The participation rate among women aged 25-64 in the same year was 43 percent, compared to 90 percent of men in the same age group.
“Social skills are becoming more and more crucial for employers,” Hentschel said. “Sri Lanka is an example of a country that needs to improve employable skills.
“Different from literacy and numeracy cognitive skills, we are learning that social skills are often built on the job itself – and most importantly the very first job somebody holds. This is why the transition from school to work is a crucial period in life.”
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor