Youth are the Future: Vocational Training for Marginalised Youth in Sri Lanka

What the situation is
After 30 years of devastating civil war, Sri Lanka’s economy is growing rapidly, at a rate of 5-6 percent in recent years. Market demand for qualified labour, particularly in construction, has skyrocketed accordingly. Yet thousands of youth remain unemployed, with no formal qualifications or aptitudes required for employment. Too often, they emigrate for low-paid work under difficult conditions or opt for precarious odd jobs with no prospects of professional development.

What we aim to achieve
To identify marginalised youth, equip them with the skills and aptitudes to find decent work in the Sri Lankan labour market, and place them with interested local businesses.

How we plan to achieve it
We have developed the iLEAD centres throughout Asia, where we recruit and train poor youth to help them find decent work and better life prospects. Following tailored market analyses, we provide youth with training in relevant sectors such as construction, IT, hospitality, electronics, beauty care, and many others according to local demand. The iLEAD training curriculum is designed in partnership with local businesses, ensuring not only a match between market expectations and trainee skills but also a smooth transition towards entry-level jobs through work placements.

For ten years, the iLEAD work placement rate has been of 76%. Thanks to specialised iLEAD training in entrepreneurial skills, former trainees often become successful entrepreneurs. iLEAD alumni remain involved with the programme as role models for the next generations of trainees.

Lieu du projet : Sri Lanka
Région : Asie du sud
Domaine : Inclusive education, Livelihood education
Durée : 2007 - 2018
Le projet concerne : Marginalised youth aged 16-22
Chef de projet : Kapila Dhanabala
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