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Philippines,Sri Lanka,United States : WORLD BANK approves US $101.5 million to SRI LANKA

June 25, 2014

Recognizing the high youth unemployment in Sri Lanka despite a large number of educated young workers, the World Bank approved a US $101.5 million to develop labor market skills of the country's youth.

The grant through the World Bank's lending arm, International Development Association (IDA) will be utilized to expand the availability of employable workers by increasing access to high quality, labor market relevant skills development programs.

The project will open new career prospects for skilled employment that is critical to sustain growth in a middle income country.

Granting the credit, despite a large number of educated young workers, Sri Lanka's labor market is characterized by high youth unemployment, high underemployment, and considerable informality.

The overall unemployment rate declined from 9% in 2000 to 4% in 2012, about 20% of 15 to 24 years were still unemployed in 2012.

The current challenges of the labor market that the project seeks to address, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Francoise Clottes, said that over 50% of firms say that the education system does not produce skills that are relevant, 33% consider the lack of adequate skills as one of the major constraints.

This Project supports the Skills Sector Development Program (SSDP) launched by the Government of Sri Lanka as the Public Investment Strategy for 2014-16.

The SSDP aims to establish skills education system to meet the local and foreign labor market demand by 2020.

The Project is structured around 2 components, Program Support to the SSDP and Innovation, Results Monitoring, and Capacity Building.

The World Bank will collaborate with other development partners such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to expand the supply of skilled and employable workers by increasing access to quality and labor market relevant training programs.

The Sri Lankan government signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to obtain financial assistance to implement the SSDP.

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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