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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2787

U.S. Government provides training scholarships for 500 youth in the East and North

Colombo, 15 May, ( The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing training scholarships to 500 young people from the East and North through the Unlimited Potential Partnership program (UPP). Scholarships were awarded to 100 youth from Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Jaffna and Vavuniya districts today.

USAID, the development agency of the U.S. Government, partnered with Microsoft and its UPP program to deliver high-quality technology instruction to students through a curriculum that is nationally recognized. Infoshare designed the curriculum for each of the four sectors and implements the program, while IDM delivers technology instruction to the students.

UPP also works with a host of other training partners including The Vocational Training Authority (VTA), MAS Institute of Management & Technology, Sri Lanka College of Journalism and other regional training institutes across the country. This partnership demonstrates how the public sector can work collaboratively with private sector businesses to support economic opportunities in Sri Lanka.

UPP currently provides workforce training programs in three industries - apparel, media, and tourism, and courses in agriculture will begin soon. These four sectors account for roughly 39% of all jobs in Sri Lanka. And, as information and communication technology (ICT) is becoming increasingly important to these sectors, Sri Lankan companies require a workforce with strong IT skills to compete globally.

"We are extremely pleased to provide 500 young people with the opportunity to upgrade their technology skills and find good jobs that will bring them financial independence," stated USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn. "A USAID-funded study showed that the demand for ICT graduates is greater than the supply. By training more young people with ICT skills, we can help Sri Lankan businesses be more competitive and support economic development in the East and North, which will benefit the youth, their families, and their communities," she continued.

The goal of UPP is to establish the specially-designed ICT curriculum in more than 40 training centers across Sri Lanka, where UPP will train at least 11,250 people by February 2010. A total of 2000 scholarships will be available throughout Sri Lanka, with USAID providing 500 scholarships to youth in the East and North.

- Asian Tribune -

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