Since commencing training activities in Jaffna in 2018, Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM) is making a strong presence in the Jaffna Peninsula with the introduction of 13th year Guaranteed Education program for school leavers introduced by the Ministry of Education, was inaugurated at the SLITHM Jaffna School on the same day the Jaffna International Airport was commissioned.
Thirty school leavers from Jaffna Peninsula schools were selected to undergo training in Front Office Operations, Hotel House Keeping and Food & Beverage Service for a period of three months. After the completion of Off the Job training at SLITHM Jaffna School, the students will be placed in star rated hotels island wide for one year to gain valuable “On the Job “experience. Once the industry internship is successfully completed, the students will receive the National Vocational Qualification ((NVQ) level 4 certification which is equalling to GCE Advanced Level certification.
With the introduction of international flights from Chennai, India three times a week, Jaffna is going to experience both inbound and outbound tourist traffic bringing much need boost to the battered tourism industry. In addition to the handful of star rated tourist hotels currently operating in the northern district, several new hotel projects are in the pipeline to cater for the expected tourism boom in the north in the years to come.
SLITHM under the Tourism Ministry has taken a proactive role by securing a block of prime land in the heart of Jaffna town to construct a purpose built state of the art tourism and hospitality centre of excellence with student accommodation, recreation facilities etc. “We hope to partner with an international donor organisation soon to commence the construction of the Jaffna campus,” said the former Chairman, SLITHM Mr. Dilip De Silva. “We understand the great potential Jaffna has to contribute to the development of the tourism industry in Sri Lanka.
As such we will invest time, money and energy to develop the tourism potential not only in Jaffna, but also in the East Coast covering Trincomalee, Baticaloa, Pasikudah and Ampara regions. We have earmarked locations for future expansion,” said the SLITHM Chairman. The Human Resource skills potential in Jaffna Peninsula was evident in the recently concluded Chefs Guild Culinary Skills competition at BMICH where SLITHM Jaffna students won five medals comprising 2 Silver and 2 Bronze medals.
“We are fortunate to have the support of professional hoteliers like Mr. Christopher Ponnadurai, General Manage Jetwing hotels Jaffna and Mr. Karthigan Sriskanatharajah, Manager/consultant of Green Grass hotel
…to develop our operations in Jaffna,” said Mr. Dilip De Silva, former Chairman SLITHM. “We are also grateful to the Jaffna Hoteliers association for their support and enthusiasm to develop manpower in the Northern districts,” said Chairman SLITHM
SLITHM is on course to offer NVQ level 7 Bachelor of hospitality management qualification to students by end of 2020. SLTHM is working closely with UNIVOTEC to map the SLITHM diploma curriculum with UNIVOTEC NVQ Level 7 qualifications. It is hoped by early 2021, SLITHM will become a degree awarding institution like CINEC, NSBM etc. In this regard SLITHM is supported by the Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association (CHSGA) of Sri Lanka and international funding organisation to fulfil the long standing dream of SLITHM to become a degree awarding institution.