Stages to Apply for Skills Development Fund

Stage 1
Skills for Inclusive Growth routinely develops concept notes that outline required skills development and business development activities. The concept notes are based on tourism industry need and consultation with local partners.

Stage 2
The concept notes are released to open tender. Service providers that can demonstrate capacity and financial accountability are invited to submit proposals addressing the needs identified in a concept note. (Sometimes service providers will be pre-qualified with the Fund following scoping studies and capacity assessments.)

Opportunities to tender will be advertised on this webpage and through Sri Lankan publications.

Stage 3
Proposals are reviewed and evaluated against the following criteria:

  1. Services proposed meet the quality standards required by employers, trainees and tourists and are capable of catalytic influence and replication.
  2. Proposals target disadvantaged people, including women and persons with disabilities.
  3. Proposals support equity between different ethnic communities, between the three districts of the Eastern Province, and the District of Polonnaruwa, and between coastal and inland tourism sector initiatives.
  4. Proposals exhibit value for money and efficiency in the delivery of skill development services, including incentives for growth of the private sector training provider market.

Stage 4
Successful applicants are notified. A pre-award audit will be undertaken to ensure the service provider’s capacity to address requirements.

Service agreements are drawn up within 10 working days of formal notification.

Stage 5
Disbursements are based on performance, with key milestones aligned to delivery of identified results. The quality and outcomes of services will be monitored.

Stage 6
At the end of the project, fund recipients must provide a project completion report, including financial acquittal.

Criteria for successful proposals

To be eligible for funding, proposals must:

  • Address identified priorities
  • Align with Government of Sri Lanka policies, priorities and operational plans for skills development and employment supporting tourism sector growth (National Employment Strategy, National Tourism Strategy, Skills Sector Development Plan)
  • Build on existing systems and processes, including community structures, employers, local organisations, local authorities, accredited providers
  • Be consistent with employment and skills development policies of the Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training
  • Ensure that the specific social and economic needs of both men and women are addressed and that opportunities for women to participate as decision makers are increased
  • Provide good value for money and have potential to become self-financing or leverage other government and private sector investment
  • Create quality skills for Sri Lankan citizens to access new employment opportunities, increase their earning potential and contribute to industry growth
  • Indicate the level of recipient support – financial, administrative, logistical, human resource and in-kind
  • Share benefits between culturally diverse communities and religious groups targeting women and persons with disabilities
  • Indicate outcomes, inputs and activities, with proposed expected results together with related costs, management, implementation and reporting mechanisms
  • Clearly identify management roles and systems to account for funds received.

Out-of-scope proposals

Support will NOT be provided for proposals that seek funding for the following activities:

  • Activities that are determined reasonably to be contrary to the interests of the Government of Australia or the Government of Sri Lanka
  • Activities that support political movements or organisations
  • Evangelism or missionary outreach, or similar activities by political organisations
  • Welfare activities (Welfare is defined as care and maintenance or social support.)
  • Emergency or disaster relief activities
  • The provision of administrative support services that exceed 10% of the total project costs
  • Proposed activities that are being duplicated with funding through other Australian Government or other donor programs (Applicants must declare all other proposals or sources of funding which may impact on the activity. Proposals for joint or partial funding can be considered. Roles and responsibilities must be clearly identified, indicating cost source.)
  • Retrospective activities
  • Activities that duplicate the funded programs of any Government of Sri Lanka agency, such as the Sector Skills Development Division (It is possible to co-finance specified initiatives.)
  • Projects that do not have clear management roles and systems to account for funds received
  • Travel expenses that exceed 20% of total project costs
  • The provision of equipment, software or physical materials, which exceeds 10% of total project costs

Eligibility of recipient organisations

Preference will be given to service providers that can demonstrate financial accountability and capacity to implement proposals, such as:

  • Government of Sri Lanka departments, agencies or directorates
  • Registered NGOs, church organisations (inter-faith) and community-based organisations
  • International organisations working in partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka, NGOs, church organisations and community-based organisations
  • Employer and labour organisations or associations
  • Registered training providers
  • Business support service providers relevant to the tourism sector
  • Employment service providers, including job placement or recruitment firms, relevant to the tourism sector
  • Australian-based organisations supporting employment and skills development in Sri Lanka.