Press release

Learning to learn for life and work

On 15 July 2019, the International Labour Organization (ILO) joins the global celebration of World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) that raises awareness of the importance of youth skills development.

Press release | Colombo, Sri Lanka | 15 July 2019
Colombo (ILO News)- Under the theme ‘learning to learn for life and work’ this year’s WYSD emphasises the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in providing youth with the opportunities to develop their competencies and accelerate their transition to work.

The ILO works with organizations such as the Disability Network of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) to promote disability employment inclusion in workplaces. The Pizza Hut outlet in Thimbirigasyaya employs differently-abled persons and uses tech and sign language to facilitate orders
While young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults, they continuously face the challenges of greater labour market inequalities. ILO Sri Lanka’s recent study on the ‘Future of Work in Sri Lanka’ indicates that skill gaps and language barriers pose a challenge for youth in accessing decent work and technology gains. There is much need to bridge the current gaps in education and skilling as Sri Lanka prepares for the future world of work.

Jayathma Wickramanayake, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, has said in a message to mark WYSD, “Our world is ever changing, and so do the challenges that it faces. Lifelong learning is essential to prepare young people with dynamic capability in improving their skills and preparing for the future, no matter how challenging it is. Education institutions need to empower young people to pursue lifelong learning beyond the classroom by creating opportunities for young people to pursue and implement practical skills and equipping them with up to date knowledge”.

A culinary demonstration at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (formerly Ceylon Hotel School) established by the government of Sri Lanka and the ILO.
The aim of WYSD is to advocate for skills as an important factor to improve young people’s transition to decent work, and to highlight the crucial role of skilled youth in addressing today’s most challenging global issues.
WYSD seeks to generate greater awareness and discussion on the importance of technical and vocational education and training, and the development of other skills relevant to both local and global economies. It is hoped that this will contribute to reducing unemployment and underemployment among youth across the world.

For more information please contact: Mr. Asitha Seneviratne, ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives: , Tel: + 94112592525