Youth unemployment is one of the social issues that the Building A Future Foundation intends to fight in Sri Lanka. Since more than 6 years, vocational training is provided by BAFF to underprivileged youth in fields that have a potential of economic development in the country. In order to expand the areas of training, BAF Foundation recently officially linked up with NAITA (National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority) acting under the Ministry of Youth Affairs. NAITA is a wider extension of NAB (National Apprentice Board) that was created with the assistance of the UNDP and ILO in 1971.
This collaboration has been facilitated by Mr. Tissa Jinasena who is Chairman of NAITA and Founder and Director of the Building A Future Foundation. Vocational training activities are provided to youth around 2 types of programs: a long term and a short term program.
Both programs provide multi skill training programs as follows:
1/Multi skill theoretical and practical engineering containing mechanical engineering and work shop practices, welding and fitting, engineering drawing, electrical engineering, automobile engineering, AC and refrigeration engineering. A group of 15 youth has recently been recruited to fit this one year program.
2/Boat building training including fiber glass and wooden boat construction techniques. A group of 5 youth was recently recruited under the boat building one year program.
The long term and short term courses are provided free of charge for the trainees since they all come from low revenue family backgrounds.
Long term training sessions
Each trainee that commits to follow the one year program benefits an allowance of 5 625 LKR/month (about 35 EUR/month) and receives morning tea, an energetic lunch and afternoon tea. This program is financially supported by Mr. Pierre Pringiers, Founder and Director of the Building A Future Foundation. Upon successful training, an exam is conducted by BAF Foundation in collaboration with NAITA and TVC. Certificates well recognized in Sri Lanka are then issued to the qualified trainee.
Short term training sessions
The short term program developed by NAITA provides 2 months training to youth.
The main target of this course is to provide the basic theoretical knowledge in multi skill engineering as well as boat building techniques. After 2 months training, NAITA’s responsibility is to find a working place for the trainees to practice what they learned. The practical training has to be done on a period of 10 months. At the end of the 12 months, each trainee will receive a NAC (National apprentice certificate) issues by NAITA. A group of 10 youth has recently started the program and every two months there is a new batch of trainees.
Here again, the trainee will benefit an allowance of 5000 LKR (33 EUR/month) that is covered by NAITA.
Our main objective with this program is to train multi skilled youth who can run a small business and who is having good knowledge of mechanical, electrical, automobile, AC & refrigeration. This is the new trend today in Sri Lanka with the flourishing economy since the end of the long lasting civil war. Small businesses are emerging especially in the tourist industry and these businesses need multi skilled workers as they cannot afford hiring several persons for several disciplines.