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SLASSCOM’s Future Careers BRIDGE Boot Camp to support youth employment in technology sector

he country’s IT sector is an integral part of its economic and social development. With the accelerated pace of digitalisation, attracting and training young talent to drive the industry forward, has become primary in shaping the IT landscape of Sri Lanka
The Future Careers BRIDGE program (www.futurecareersbridge.net/) and Boot Camp prepares youth with the requisite skills for the country’s IT industry. The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) youth employment and entrepreneurship project, You Lead, supported the program’s soft skills training course. Negombo Round Table supported the technology module, while the Dhow Foundation supported the Boot Camp with the English language skills module.
Targeting 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 and provides students with a skill development journey of tech and essential skills.
The Boot Camp focused on communication skills, leadership skills and soft skills such as creative problem solving, interpersonal communication, self-management and accountability. Students participated in workshops, mock interviews and guest lectures on topics such as time management, mental wellbeing, personal agility and diversity and inclusion. The modules were delivered by top industry professionals and institutions, including Gateway Language School, Winhe Software Engineering Academy and International Trainer and a Certified Transformational Coach, Fahad Farook.
This program is offered free of charge for the students and conducted virtually by the SLASSCOM Academy. The program entailed a comprehensive training that has given students the opportunity to learn how Tech, especially software development, is practiced in companies and have the chance to receive employment opportunities when they complete this program, supported with communication and essential skills for their success in their first internship.
This initiative has proved to be a game-changer supporting students with the practical skills and guidance, with a host of IT/ BPM companies and industry mentors’ joining the platform to hire interns as well as volunteering on all aspects of creating this program and sustaining it over the last 24 months. This follow-up Boot Camp commenced in Nov 2021 with 50 students invited to join the program and concluded with resounding success at the end of March 2022. SLASSCOM is supported by their Corporate sponsors Dialog enterprise and HCL Tech in conducting these initiatives.
Nishan Mendis – Board Director at SLASSCOM stated “SLASSCOM has been working in the last few years to create awareness in IT related new trends and employment opportunities to the next generation. Multi-pronged approaches were exercised to reach out to children, teachers, parents in many parts of the country to create awareness regarding the industry.
While the awareness about the IT/BPM industry is becoming better, there is still a considerable gap of understanding about the opportunities available in the industry. We aim to leverage the Future Careers BRIDGE platform to primarily focus on creating awareness among youth about the benefits of selecting IT/ BPM as a future career path and to make them understand the lucrativeness of this industry.
This aligns with our vision of generating USD 5 billion in annual revenue, employing over 200,000 highly-skilled professionals and launching over 1,000 startups by 2025”.
Bani Chandrasena, Head of the Capacity Forum at SLASSCOM added that the initiative has two fold objectives. Firstly, it is aimed at expanding the talent pool available to the industry as part of this Capacity building program.
Secondly, its focus is on connecting Sri Lankan youth to exciting job and career prospects in the knowledge services industry to provide them with the opportunity to become truly global citizens.
With the current concern about the rising incidence of youth leaving the country for overseas employment, Future Careers BRIDGE program and Bridge Boot Camp program offering youth lucrative opportunities in the IT Sector, could be a way to retain the IT Talent much needed by the nation.

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