Published on: October 19, 2023

Training high school graduates to address the shortage of skilled workforce in Sri Lanka’s IT sector is essential – State Minister for Technology Kanaka Herath

The State Minister for Technology, Mr. Kanaka Herath, highlighted the pressing need to equip high school graduates with the necessary skills to bridge the workforce gap in the Information Technology (IT) sector in Sri Lanka. Every year, there are approximately 20,000 job opportunities within the IT sector, yet a deficit of adequately trained professionals persists.

He further emphasized that while about 10,000 IT graduates emerge from both public and private universities each year, additional efforts are required to equip young individuals who have completed their A-Levels with the skills necessary to meet the remaining labour force requirement.

These remarks were made during his participation in a press conference at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) today (19) on the subject of the ‘International Education Forum – 2023,’ organized by the Education Division of the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS). This forum is scheduled to take place at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo on November 3, in conjunction with the ‘INFOTEL ICT’ exhibition.

Continuing his remarks, Minister Herath stated:

“Many believe that our current education system requires reform, making the Sri Lanka Information Technology Industry Federation’s initiative timely and essential. Professionals well-versed in technology play a critical role in driving our national economy. Simultaneously with adopting new technologies, it is imperative to revamp our existing education system.

Annually, the IT industry generates approximately 20,000 job opportunities, while only 10,000 IT professionals are available. This glaring gap in the information technology sector in our nation must be addressed by utilizing high school graduates. Our government is committed to this endeavour.

To this end, we have launched the ‘DIGIECON 2030’ program, with the primary aim of formulating a national digital economy policy by the year 2030. The International Education Forum forms part of the broader strategy to realize the government’s objectives.

Empowering the education sector in our country is integral to advancing the national digital economy agenda. We extend an open invitation to all students and youth to actively participate in this initiative.”

Meanwhile, the President of the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS) Mr. Indika De Soysa highlighted that empowering educational institutions to develop a technology-based workforce and address future challenges is critical to achieve the goals set out in the DIGIECON 2030 program.

The Chairman of the FITIS, Mr. Amila Bandara, underscored the importance of discussing current trends in the Information and Communication Technology sector and stressed that this dialogue is crucial for training individuals to aligning with President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s vision of bolstering the country’s economy through a digital economy.

Additional Secretary (Digital Education) of the Ministry of Education, Dr. K. P. Munagama and officials from the Ministry of Technology were also present at the event.


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