The Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) signed up with partner organisations to further strengthen and develop future careers, introducing ‘Future Careers Partner Program’ together with Strategic Partner – Vocational Training Authority (VTA), Virtusa, Pearson, IFS, Zone24/7, Millennium IT (part of London Stock Exchange),HSBC and First Source – Dialog. The official launch of ‘Future Careers Partners 2012’ was held recently at the Dialog Auditorium, with the presence of Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education officials and a large gathering of member companies and corporates. SLASSCOM has been working in the last few years to create awareness in IT related new trends and, employment opportunities to the next generation. Multipronged approaches were exercised to reach out to children, teachers, parents and community leaders in many parts of the country to create awareness regarding the industry. While the awareness about the IT/BPO industry is becoming better, still there’s a considerable gap of understanding about the opportunities available in the industry. “We aim to leverage the Future Careers platform to primarily focus on creating awareness among youth about the benefits of selecting IT or BPO as a career path. Our aspiration is to attract large number of youth to join the fast growing IT/BPO industry in Sri Lanka. All our endeavours are geared towards driving Sri Lanka to reach our national goal of becoming the number one industry to lead Sri Lanka to the knowledge economy while achieving the target of US$ 1 billion in revenue and employment to over 100,000 by 2015. One of the key prerequisite for this growth to be realised is the acceleration of human resource capacity development in the industry,” said SLASSCOM Chairman Sujiva Dewaraja. The Future Careers initiative has two fold objectives. Firstly, the SLASSCOM Future Careers initiative is aimed at expanding the talent pool available to the industry as part of this Capacity building program. Secondly, SLASSCOM Future Careers initiative will focus on connecting Sri Lankan youth to the exciting job opportunities in the knowledge services industry for them to become truly global citizens. Future Careers initiative focuses on: Knowledge sharing sessions with industry experts from our member companies including open discussions, fora and webinars on new IT/ BPO related topics and trends; Facilitating industry visits to students to better understand the working environment of our companies; Facilitating workshops, career fairs and seminars for the student community; Building a database of future careers champions for prospective recruitment; Sharing new opportunities, ventures and project ideas from our member companies; Mentoring programs and internships for under-graduate students; And providing a platform for linking industry professionals with prospective entrants to the knowledge industry. Future Careers targets students aged 15-18 years and young under-graduate students. The platform creates a dialogue between the IT/BPO professionals and students opening vistas of knowledge sharing and experience with the future careers audience, including teaching faculty members. Students can also join online at www.FutureCareers.lk to learn about the industry. SLASSCOM invites industry professionals to also join at www.FutureCareers.lk to encourage and offer their support and guidance to new entrants to the industry. Future Careers’ Facebook page provides a real time platform to connect everyone who’s interested in IT and BPO industry jobs to people who are already in the industry. It is on a mission to build the largest real Facebook wall.