The Skills for Inclusive Growth (S4IG) Program is an initiative of the Australian Government in partnership with the Sri Lankan State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research & Innovations. It is implemented by Palladium on behalf of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). We aim to contribute to sustainable job creation, increased income and business growth for marginalised and disadvantaged people, particularly women and people with disabilities by showcasing and demonstrating skills development innovations and replicable models across the tourism value chain.

The program’s Phase 1 began in 2017, in the post-conflict territories of Trincomalee, Ampara, Batticaloa (Eastern Province) and Polonnaruwa (North Central Province), with the recognition that tourism could be a key driver of change to create improved employment and inclusive economic growth. These four districts served as incubators to test new approaches to skills development and inclusive growth, which can subsequently be replicated throughout Sri Lanka.

Phase 2 of the S4IG program commenced in December 2020 and will conclude in November 2024. The current phase focuses on facilitating the transition from the districts to a coordinated national framework. We aim to strengthen the enabling environment for improved and relevant skills development, drawing from our experience from Phase 1, to improve the performance of businesses and generate local economic and inclusive growth outcomes for all


End of Program Outcomes:

S4IG seeks to:

  • Create the enabling environment necessary for systemic changes at the national and sub-national levels, through innovative models for skills development in the tourism sector.
  • Ensure a majority of participating micro, small and medium enterprises operating in the tourism value chain improve their business performance
  • Ensure a majority of diverse participants increase their incomes with quality and relevant skills across the tourism value chain

To date our Program has influenced the government in the following ways:

  • Included the tourism sector in governmental planning at the district level. This encouraged government investment and alignment with required skills, in order to implement and achieve government and industry priorities.
  • Supported local District Coordination Committees (DCCs) to become standardised with updated terms-of-reference approved by TVEC and the Ministry. DCCs now include public and private training providers, industry representatives and local planning authorities. The chair of the DCC is now the district Secretariat to improve coordination between responsible agencies, industry and communities.
  • Facilitated the adoption of new flexible approaches to vocational education and training delivery including workplace training and assessment and online learning. Approaches partner with industry to improve relevance and quality and ensure employment requirements are supported.

S4IG seeks to:

  • The Government ‘Employment Linked Training Program’ to facilitate recruitment, training and job placement through the S4IG Recruitment, Employment, and Careers in Tourism (REACT) initiative. This successfully showcases how enhanced employability and improved incomes across the tourism and hospitality industry can be delivered through quality skills training. In particular, disadvantaged young people from rural and remote communities have prospered through new training in cookery and baking.
  • A Workplace-Based Training Package to deliver training in a tri-lingual video-based format supplemented with on-the-job training and workplace assessments, for entry level occupations. Developed and delivered to international industry standards in collaboration with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL). The package supports enterprises to recruit, deliver training and develop their workforce. NAITA launched this online in February 2021 to enable online learning in hospitality occupations, thus enabling flexible delivery and assessment of skills to workplace requirements.
  • Professional Business Coaching to support smaller businesses to improve their business performance. Following this, guest Houses, small hotels, homestays, salon spas, tour guides, tour operators and Tuk Tuk tour guides showed improvements in revenue, more jobs and increased income.
  • A Career Counselling Toolkit with resources to support career opportunities in the tourism sector. This ensures career guidance officers have accurate information about occupational descriptions, career pathways, industry income levels and working conditions. Improved awareness of the opportunities available and gave young people more choice when searching for employment opportunities.
  • Training courses that support industry growth. The focus being on generating improved revenues from better engagement with the ‘visitor economy’. As a result, tour guiding, tour experiences and products as well as ‘gig’ economy jobs including content creation, videography, photography and e-tourism/marketing, are now generating self-employment outcomes for skilled Sri Lankans.
  • Improve resilience in the COVID-19 environment, as well as be equipped to manage the health and safety of staff and guests/visitors. Enterprises were also supported to prepare and manage safety and security issues. This was done using prevention awareness and preparedness tools and procedures in order to manage incidents including fires in the workplace.
  • An HR Toolkit to support enterprises with modern HR management and workforce development tools such as performance management, multi-skilling, improved customer service practices and flexible employment opportunities.

National Office: Lee Hedges Tower, 349, 9/1, Galle Road,
Colombo 00300, Sri Lanka

TP: +94 112 574 001

Email: enquiries[at]inclusivegrowth.com.lk
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North Central Office:
Kanaya City Hostel, Polonnaruwa Road,
Habarana, Sri Lanka
TP+94 66 205 6526
Eastern Regional Office:
Miani Nagar, Trinco Road,
Thannamunai, Batticaloa,
Sri Lanka
TP + 94 65 222 9296
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