SL, Australia ink pact to boost tourism, hospitality sectors


Sri Lanka and Australia signed a cooperation agreement to continue to improve inclusive growth outcomes in the tourism and hospitality industries through innovative skills development and system strengthening. The signing of the agreement coincides with the 75th anniversary of official diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Australia. Secretary to State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation, Deepa Liyanage and Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka David Holly signed the agreement on behalf of the two countries. The agreement builds on previous cooperation and expands support for the implementation of the Decade of Skills Development 2020-2030. It promotes better skills and better jobs.

The Skills for Inclusive Growth Programme (S4IG) is a bilateral initiative of the Australian aid programme developed in partnership with the State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research, and Innovation. The programme supports the development of quality skills needed to support sustainable and inclusive growth across Sri Lanka’s tourism and hospitality sectors. Minister for State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation Dr. Seetha Arambepola said in addition to an expanded geographic reach of the programme and an increased inclusion and gender equality focus, it will contribute towards the development and implementation of policy in collaboration with government, industry, and training providers. Australian High Commissioner David Holly said inclusive vocational education in the hospitality sector is a priority in Sri Lanka, and Australia is pleased to continue this bilateral partnership in support of this critical area of economic growth.  

The objectives of S4IG are: strengthen the enabling environment, specifically national and sub-national governance related to the policy, planning and coordination across skills development to implement new models that address local skills constraints ensuring training delivers what employers and government requires, Support demand for inclusive skills development through improved employment outcomes and MSME business revenues, support the strengthening of the supply and relevance of skills. This enables the implementation of flexibly delivered, inclusive skills training relevant to both individual employment outcomes and enterprise growth.