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SLASSCOM Accelerates BRIDGE Program to help Tomorrow’s IT Professionals

Young Talent is primary in shaping the IT landscape of Sri Lanka and SLASSCOM (the Sri Lanka Association for Software Services Companies) has as such, embarked on the Future Careers BRIDGE initiative, a stepping stone for passionate young IT enthusiasts to enter the industry.
“SLASSCOM conceptualized Future Careers BRIDGE upon the growth of the IT landscape, the skyrocketing demand for professionals and the inadequacy of state and Private Universities to cater to the hordes of prospective students looking for IT qualifications”, explained Nishan Mendis – Executive Director, Technology Consulting Leader, CIO at PwC and SLASSCOM Board Director.
In further clarifying the purpose of BRIDGE, Hasith Yaggahavita, CTO of 99X and former SLASSCOM Board Member stated, “The Future Careers BRIDGE initiative addresses this capacity problem by creating an alternative pathway for Sri Lankan youth to enter the industry”.
This initiative has reached its current stage quickly due to more than 20 companies and industry mentors’ commitment and volunteerism, helping with all aspects of this platform’s build and maintenance.
Targetting students who have completed their G.C.E. A/L examinations, the program assesses youth on their skills and suitability for the IT sector via a series of challenges designed by industry experts. The BRIDGE experience provides students with a skill development journey, of tech and the essential skills and a virtual leader board.
Registration is simple with only the requirement of a mobile number. The platform provides progress updates and opportunities for students to learn more about careers in the industry. Students also get invited to industry events like Tech Webinars, Online Boot Camps, other engagements and also meeting industry mentors. This entire program is provided free of charge to the student.
“Getting on the Leader Board by completing the tech, language and soft-skill challenges enable students to access internships and possible scholarships, paving their way to a career in the IT industry”, added Bani Chandrasena, Head of the BRIDGE Initiative at SLASSCOM and Head of Inclusive Diversity, London Stock Exchange Group – Sri Lanka.
SLASSCOM invites students who have completed their A/L exams this year to make use of this opportunity and register.
Implemented with the financial support of YouLead, Future Careers BRIDGE has already attracted over 5000+ students to register. In line with SLASSCOM’s Vision 2025 to generate USD 5.0 billion, create 200,000 direct jobs, establish 1000 start-ups and the chamber’s capacity and skills development strategy to increase the local talent pool, Future Careers BRIDGE is a doorway of opportunity to Sri Lanka’s youth.
As this is an online platform, it has reached students from all districts, with a healthy gender split, which is encouraging in these early days since its launch.
The Companies that have signed up will bind potential youth as interns and sponsor their part-time higher education, thus creating a work-study environment that benefits them holistically.
SLASSCOM recently partnered with Sri Lanka Unites, a movement initiated to unite Sri Lankan Youth from all ethnic and religious groups. SLASSCOM, together with SLU, will help up skill 750 students learning at eight SLU reconciliation centres across Sri Lanka.
The country’s IT sector is an integral part of it’s economic and social development, justified ever more strongly by the current pandemic. With IT infrastructure and enablement becoming the backbone of a functioning society and the growth of IT jobs and demand for IT experts increasing at an accelerated pace, SLASSCOM, as the national chamber for the knowledge and innovation industry in Sri Lanka, hopes to make Future Careers BRIDGE a game-changer for the industry. SLASSCOM is aptly supported by their Corporate sponsor Dialog Axiata PLC.

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