NAITA Chairman A.U.C. Athukorala shakes hands with Insee CEO Nandana Ekanayake (left) while exchanging the agreement
Sri Lankan cement manufacturer Insee cement spearheaded the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Enterprise based Vocational Education (EVE) training centre and the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) recently.
The agreement extending a period by five years was signed at Insee cement’s head office in Colombo. About the partnership INSEE cement CEO Nandana Ekanayake said, “We take pride in empowering our youth in the Puttalam area by giving them outstanding technical skills - a first step towards building independence and a sustainable livelihood. This will enhance their educational levels, increase their employability and give them a stable career path. The initiative will help to develop future technicians for the nation. At Insee cement we strongly believe in enriching the community particularly in areas where we do business”.
The two year program provides theory lessons for those who opt to benefit from the training and coaching provided by trainers from NAITA. The students; hailing from diverse backgrounds, receive English language and lessons in Information Technology along with relevant subjects including pneumatics, hydraulics, lathe/milling and Auto CAD, in addition to the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) curriculum in their first year. In the second year, full-time practical training is provided at EVE Centre located in the Puttalam cement plant. The project was initiated in 2012 and has benefited over 165 students.
NAITA Chairman A. U. C. Athukorala, while talking about the collaboration said, “We are pleased to contribute to this national endeavour to upgrade the skills of youth in the Puttalam area. It is very creditable of Insee cement to engage in a program of this magnitude to develop and encourage the youth in the district that will generate value and long-lasting benefits to the community as well as the nation”.
The course is free of charge and the trainees receive a monthly allowance from Insee cement in addition to transport, meals and technical support. With the current intake being the ninth, the program has been a great success, having produced multi-skilled maintenance technicians with exemplary computer skills. The initiative has undoubtedly uplifted the living standards of the youth in Puttalam and has inspired them to develop to their full potential.