Skills for Inclusive Growth

Skills for Inclusive Growth supports sustainable job creation and business growth in four districts of Sri Lanka: Ampara, Batticaloa, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee. The program assists local communities to establish new tourism businesses and improve existing offerings through targeted and flexible skills development training.


The program encourages skills development across the tourism value chain, from food and beverage suppliers, tours, recreation and cultural heritage activities, national parks, and health and beauty services. Accessing tourism skills development enables individuals and businesses to better meet the needs of a growing tourist market.

Skills for Inclusive Growth specifically facilitates the creation of opportunities for poor people working in the informal sector. The program’s focus on vocational and technical training for women and persons with disabilities helps ensure that these groups are supported to gain or improve their employment.

Skills for Inclusive Growth will enable a greater number of poor men and women to benefit from the expanding tourism industry – as workers, producers and entrepreneurs.

Why tourism?

Tourism is already a significant contributor to the Sri Lankan economy. Tourist arrivals increased to over 2 million (2,050,832) visitors in 2016, up from 654,476 visitors in 2010.[1]

The sector has the potential to further boost the economy, particularly in Eastern and North Central Sri Lanka, which boast many cultural treasures and some of the country’s most beautiful beaches and culturally significant sites. The east coast was a popular tourist destination prior to the outbreak of civil conflict.  Tourism development supports job creation, foreign exchange earning capacity, sectoral linkages and broader regional and rural development. Tourism can act as a catalyst for peace, development and reconciliation.

[1] Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority ASR, Annual Statistical Report of Sri Lanka Tourism 2016.

Program Delivery

Skills for Inclusive Growth is helping to reduce poverty through inclusive, private sector-led economic development. The program is part of the Australian Government’s Economic Opportunities for the Poor Program.

Skills for Inclusive Growth is an initiative of the Australian Government in partnership with the Sri Lankan Sri Lankan Ministry of Science, Technology, Research, Skills Development and Vocational Training and Kandyan Heritage. A key feature of the program is the Skills Development Fund. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade appointed Scope Global to manage and implement Skills for Inclusive Growth. Skills for Inclusive Growth is an evidence-based program, evolving in real time based on monitoring and evaluation findings. For the latest program information please contact our head office.