The ‘GermanTech North’ has helped Sri Lanka in its journey towards realizing the government’s “Vision 2025” and achieving important targets connected to Sustainable Development Goal 4 related to ‘skills and employability’, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, said on Tuesday in Kilinochchi.
He was speaking on the occasion of the official handing-over of modern training equipment to the Sri Lanka – German Training Institute which is known as “GermanTech North”.
He said, “the ‘GermanTech North’ is a manifestation of the excellent relations between Sri Lanka and Germany. The Institute offers meaningful vocational training for young adults that are demand-driven and cater to the needs of the labour market in accordance with the National Vocational Qualification framework. Focusing specifically on the growth and prosperity of our country, this initiative is forward-looking and constructive, and equips young people with marketable skills that open up opportunities for youth not only in Sri Lanka, but even beyond Sri Lanka’s shores.
“In fact, I have personal memories of the first German Technical College that was established in Ratmalana in the 1950s where my uncle worked as the principal at one time. Ratmalana German Tech students excelled in their studies, and I recall many of them migrating for lucrative employment overseas, aided by the firm foundation they had received at the institute and its excellent credentials,” Samaraweera said. While Sri Lanka – German collaboration in vocational training began in the 1950s, just a decade following Sri Lanka’s Independence, this supportive and forward-looking partnership did not stop there. Germany has continued to stand by the people of Sri Lanka as a constant companion and partner in supporting the development of our country in many sectors including vocational training.
Just as Germany helped Sri Lanka soon after Independence, this state-of-the-art vocational training center in Kilinochchi was initiated in 2012, soon after the end of the conflict in 2009, heralding new beginnings and opportunities for the youth in the North and the East of Sri Lanka. “GermanTech North” was inaugurated in 2016, and it provides young people of this part of our country an invaluable opportunity to enhance their skills according to the requirements of the labour market.
For over six decades, Germany has remained Sri Lanka’s most important donor and technical partner for vocational training, and I want to use this important occasion to specifically pay my gratitude to the Government and the people of Germany for this noble endeavor.
Minister Samaraweera thanked Chairman Stassen Group Harry Jayawardena for working in partnership with GIZ to provide this modern training equipment to “GermanTech North”. “This donation is especially timely because modern industry with its automated systems and assembly lines require highly skilled workers and a competitive workforce.
This equipment will enable students and faculty acquire the right kind of skills to meet the demands of industry in the present knowledge-based societies. This initiative taken by the Stassen Group stands as an example to the entire private sector in Sri Lanka. This is indeed an exemplary gesture to help our youth and upskill Sri Lanka’s labour force.”
“GermanTech North” is of critical importance for Sri Lanka as we strive to take all steps possible to ensure that the Northern economy becomes an invaluable contributor to the national economy and the youth of the North and the East become equal and essential contributors to Sri Lanka’s skilled labour force.
He said, “I look forward very much to also see the establishment and operationalisation of the Vocational Training Centre in Matara, as early as possible. Initiatives of this nature where apprentices belonging to all communities can work and study together, as you would all recognize, are important contributors to our nation’s reconciliation process.”
The Minister also thanked Ambassador Jorn Rohde and his team in Colombo for their commitment to this noble task and also for their dedication in working hard every single day to make the German – Sri Lanka bilateral partnership excel.