SLASSCOM TRAINS IT INSTRUCTORS OF THE NATIONAL YOUTH CORPS AS CAREER COUNSELORS FOR THE INDUSTRY
The misalignment between education programs and employment expectations has caused an ever increasing gap between the school system and the labor market, resulting in school leavers being unaware of the many career opportunities available in the market, which also includes the Technology and IT/BPM field.
With the aim of providing teachers with the necessary knowledge on the tech industry career opportunities, learning tools and the importance of soft skills in becoming successful in the industry, SLASSCOM recently held a teacher training program for the IT instructors attached to the National Youth Corps ( NYC), that comprised of participants from 58 training centers around the country.
The training was held on March 23 and 24 at the Trace Expert City, Maradana with the support of a team of IT industry experts. This included Nishan Mendis – Board Director at SLASSCOM, and the Executive Director and Technology Consulting Leader at PwC and Mangala Perera – Partner & Chief Operating Officer at Rootcode Labs. They started with an introduction to the IT industry, showcasing the value of the industry and employability requirements, along with the career options and the different job roles available. Different other higher education program options such as VTA ICT courses and the OUSL Degree programs were also discussed by them.
Bani Chandrasena – Head of the Capacity Forum at SLASSCOM and Diversity Collective Sri Lanka provided an insight into the importance of attaining softs skills, such as team working, critical thinking, problem solving, time management and leadership. She further outlined the importance of industry relationships and internships and also emphasized on the methodologies on teaching students how to self-learn and on career introduction sessions that can be conducted for the students and their parents.
This was followed by Ashvinth Premanantha Senior Branding and Creative Designer of Zone 24×7 who spoke about the new tools and trends required for a career in graphic design. He also conducted a practical session on graphic designing which the teachers appreciated very much.
Didula Perera – Operations Manager at SLASSCOM, presented the different programs created and managed by SLASSCOM to support the youth who desire to join the tech industry and succeed. In her session she discussed the Future Careers Bridge program and the SLASSCOM Professional skills program and encouraged the instructors to introduce those programs to their students and thereby support the students on their skill development journey of tech and other essential skills.
As the final segment, the teachers were taken on a company tour to CodeGen, a leading tech company operating at the Trace Expert city where they also got the opportunity to see the Vega supercar. The objective of this visit was to give them a chance to interact with employees and see how the tech teams work so they are able to inspire their students with that experience.
Tekla Ranasinghe, Assistant Director-Operations at National Youth Corps was also present at the training program to share words of encouragement with the teachers who attended.
Board Director at SLASSCOM, Nishan Mendis stated, “teachers are instrumental in building student’s professional as well as their personal growth trajectory. Each student needs personalized attention and direction to make informed decisions for their careers. With students spending a considerable amount of time with their subject teachers, it becomes essential to provide every teacher with the skills and means to affect the right guidance to be given that will have a positive impact in a student’s life and this was the key goal of this program. With the boom taking place in the technology industry and the immense opportunities available in the IT/BPM industry in Sri Lanka, we wanted to focus on training teachers to become career counselors and be knowledgeable of the trends and progression happening in the Tech and IT/BPM industry, so that they could advise students accordingly. If every teacher is trained to become a 10% career counselor, there is magic awiting to happen in every classroom” he added.
Head of the Capacity Forum at SLASSCOM Bani Chandrasena said “the right career guidance can help students acquire the knowledge, information, skills, and experience necessary to be employable and this is the end result we are aiming at achieving through this program”.
SLASSCOM through programs of this nature, intend to deliver value to both students and employers, by collaborating their collective expertise to direct efforts in building a highly competent talent pool of young individuals to support the country’s IT/BPM Industry and to contribute positively to the country’s economy.