- Youth empowerment is key:
- Fast track program with zero cost to provide NVQ L3 qualification for up to 45,000 electricians island wide.
- Plans to extend the same to plumbers in Sri Lanka.
The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the electricity sector regulator, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with USAID’s youth employment and entrepreneurship project, YouLead on June 28 providing professional qualification to 45,000 electricians. This initiative aims to channel joint efforts to support and upskill Sri Lankan youth in the electricity sector, and to encourage entrepreneurship to tackle the issue of youth unemployment in Sri Lanka.
“This is one of the largest youth empowerment projects in Sri Lanka, where we provide opportunities for young electricians to obtain a professional qualification without any cost. When a young electrician is certified with a level three National Vocational Qualification (NVQ3) in the program he or she will be able to easily find local or foreign employment, achieve better career recognition and will be able to move up in the career ladder.” Mr. Janaka Ratnayake, Chairman of Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka said.
“YouLead aims to promote and encourage vocational education among youth in Sri Lanka. Providing a national vocational qualification for experienced electricians through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program will not only help professionalize the electricians trade but also provide qualified electricians with more opportunities to help safeguard lives and property through safer electrical installations.”, said Ms. Vindya Silva, Partnerships Director, YouLead.
The partnership intends to collaborate and leverage technical capabilities, resources, network, and the reach of each other, with the objective of certifying electricians through recognition of prior learning (RPL) process to support young electricians to obtain National Vocational Qualification (NVQ Level 03) and to practice in electrician occupation island wide.
With the signing of the MOU, PUCSL and YouLead will jointly support and facilitate the national level electrician licensing program led by PUCSL though vocational training and awareness, conducting of training workshops and supporting the RPL certification process across all 25 districts in Sri Lanka.
It is estimated that Sri Lanka has about 45,000 electricians and about 80 percent of them do not have a recognized professional qualification, which is an obstacle to their professional development. It is also essential for electricians to obtain NVQ3 as it is recognized as the minimum qualification for obtaining electrician license. Most of the electricians are reluctant to take long-term courses and pay for them as they depend on their profession as their source of income. To address the issue, the PUCSL together with Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) and the Vocational Training Authority (VTA) introduced a three-day program for electricians in Sri Lanka to obtain NVQ3 without any costs and within a minimum time period.
YouLead is a USAID-funded project in Sri Lanka that aims to improve youth technical and vocational education, with the purpose of creating a skilled workforce, linking youth to productive careers, and encouraging entrepreneurship. The project undertakes activities to support and strengthen students, teachers, institutions and entrepreneurs.
USAID is the United States Government agency responsible for foreign aid. USAID has provided development and humanitarian assistance worldwide for 60 years and has invested over LKR 350 billion ($2 billion) to benefit the people of Sri Lanka since 1956.
PUCSL is the economic, technical and safety regulator for electricity industry, designated regulator for petroleum and water services industries and the shadow regulator for lubricant market in Sri Lanka.