BOI offers incentives for education sector
The BOI conducted a seminar for investors in the education sector
with the objective of advising them on the range of tax incentives and
benefits available. During the welcome speech, Prof. Lakshman R.
Watawala, Chairman/Director General said that even though Sri Lanka
boasts of a 92% literacy rate, to keep up with the rapidly developing
world, it is crucial that the country has a solid base of skilled labour.
Since the State is able to provide university education to merely 10% of
the students who qualify to enter university due to the lack of
resources, the private sector plays a key role in bridging the gap.
The Chairman made a presentation on 'Investment Opportunities in the
Education Sector' where he identified Information Technology/BPOs,
vocational and skills development, professional and business sectors,
tourism, apparel, healthcare and agriculture/agro-industry as key
sectors which have emerged as lead industries and where there is a great
need for training.
Prof. Watawala said that although Sri Lanka has a talented pool of
young people who are able to grasp and learn new skills easily, the
training facilities available in the country need to be upgraded.
Therefore to promote these lead sectors for investment, the chairman
affirmed that the BOI is providing incentives for training in these
Managing Director - WNS Sri Lanka Dushan Soza, said that language
skills, analytical skills, computer proficiency, customer service
orientation and behavioural skills are the basic skill landscape
required by most BPO companies. He said that WNS, with over 300
employees have an in-house training system and new recruits are given
training for both professional as well as soft skills.
He stressed the need for training institutes to train students on the
type of training/skills which will make them competitive and ensure they
have secure positions in the job market. He also highlighted the
importance of re-designing the course curriculum for English whereby
employers will be able to recognise courses offered by institutes as
those that fulfill the requirements of the employers.
Vice President Human Resources, HSBC Electronic Data Processing Lanka
(Pvt) Limited (HDPL) Gaurav Ahluwalia spoke on "The Importance of
English Education - ITES/BPO Perspective" where he outlined features of
current industry trends, drivers for growth, issues and challenges and
strategies to cope with Ahluwalia said that the global outsourcing
industry is expected to grow by 6.7% CAGR and therefore with the high
literacy rate and skilled labour, there is immense potential for the
industry in Sri Lanka.