A recent survey undertaken by the Census and Statistics Department has indicated that nearly half a million job vacancies are available in the country, with employers unable to offer attractive pay and lack of interest among Sri Lankans for the job vacancies.
The findings, based on a survey conducted on 3,500 firms island wide, found that 497,302 vacancies were available, with most of the labour demand for sewing machine operators, with just over 77,000 vacancies.
Around 57,000 security guards are also sought after by employers, along with 40,000 other manufacturing labourers, 28,000 shop sales assistants and 21,000 advertising and marketing professionals, rounding up the top five number of job vacancies. Team working, oral and written communication, initiative, literacy, public speaking and consumer handling were some of the most desired skills by employers.
University graduates who also had technical or vocational training were the most sought after by employers.
However, according to the survey, nearly a quarter of the employers felt like there weren’t enough people interested in the vacancies while a nearly same portion admitted that salary demands for the vacancies were too high, and poor terms and conditions were offered for the jobs. Another 21.3 percent of the employers said that there was too much competition from other employers to attract the same pool of talent.
Most of the vacancies were in the Western Province, and the lowest number of vacancies were in the Eastern Province. The services sector had just over 35 percent of the total vacancies, which was similar to the requirements in the industry sector. Around 22 percent of the vacancies were in trading.
A majority of the vacancies were in the formal sector. This is an indication of the potential of the formal sector to grow, despite the informal sector making up around 60 percent of employment in Sri Lanka.