Language, vocational training vital – President

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With many job openings for skilled workers in countries such as Japan, Poland, and Romania, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa emphasised the importance of implementing language and vocational training programmes that target available opportunities.

The President was speaking at a discussion held at President’s House, Colombo, yesterday (25) to review the progress of the programme to direct skilled workers to foreign employment markets.

The President pointed out that in the face of the current economic setback, special attention should be paid to generating foreign exchange as well as seizing foreign employment opportunities. By producing skilled workers, more opportunities can be created for the highest paying careers.

“There is a high demand for nursing in many countries, including Europe. The Bureau of Foreign Employment estimates that there are more than 350,000 job vacancies in elderly-care and catering industry in Japan alone. Knowledge of the Japanese language is mandatory in this regard,” he said.

The President said Japanese language programmes should be implemented immediately for the private and public sectors, including the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority, the Vocational Training Authority and the Foreign Employment Bureau.

Special attention will be paid to removing barriers faced by any person in the public service or an employee recruited under the Multipurpose Scheme when leaving for foreign employment. Foreign Employment Promotion Minister Manusha Nanayakkara said that opportunities should be made available when applying for foreign employment in a manner that does not affect seniority. The Minister pointed out that they could be encouraged to bring foreign remittances by providing vehicle import licences, housing loans and facilities for school children. The Minister also said attention should be paid to securing employment opportunities through the intervention of embassies.

Secretary to the President, Gamini Senarath, Chief of Staff, Anura Dissanayake, Secretaries to Ministries and Heads of Line Institutions were also present during this meeting.