Sri Lanka Change  |  All Microsoft Sites

Microsoft Sri Lanka Press Room

<< Latest Releases

Microsoft launches the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Course

Delivers work-focused training for the BPO industry

Microsoft Sri Lanka announced the launch of the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) Training Program, targeting entry level skill development in the Information Technology Enabled Services and Business Process Outsourcing (ITES-BPO) industry. The initiative is a multi-stakeholder workforce development initiative by the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) – the national chamber for the IT and BPO industries – IDM Education Services, Infoshare Guarantee Limited and Microsoft. The JOBS Training Program delivers skills training in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Workplace Communication and Soft Skills required for selected entry level positions at leading employers including Amba Research, Dialog Axiata, HelloCorp, HSBC, Innodata Isogen Lanka, MedSource and RR Donnelley.

JOBS is implemented through Unlimited Potential (UP), which spearheads Corporate Citizenship at Microsoft. UP aims to bring the benefits of ICT to underserved communities around the world by transforming education, fostering local innovation, and enabling jobs and opportunities. Through Unlimited Potential, Microsoft has provided more than US$350 million in cash and software grants to more than 1,000 community partners to deliver skills training. Microsoft's community initiatives are designed to help local businesses outline the competency requirements for new talent, evaluate the skills of students ready for an entry level job and collaborate with local education institutions to provide curricula and training.

“Building a skilled workforce benefits a country's economy by expanding its pool of potential recruits,” explained Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka. “JOBS not only delivers skills training but goes a step further. It orients training to match the requirements of BPO employers to build industry-specific expertise and ensure better job outcomes for individuals. Job skills are essential to developing careers and achieving success in virtually every sector of the economy. Recognizing this fact Microsoft Community Affairs, together with SLASSCOM, IDM and Infoshare, set out to build collaborative partnerships between BPO employers and training providers. We are greatly encouraged by the industry commitment to delivering sustainable job skills training.”

Mr Vajira Tennakoon, Singer’s Brand Group Manager for Digital Media stated, “We have been working closely with Microsoft for the past four years and this last year has been especially productive, as it has helped us grow as a company. With the support of Microsoft we have advanced to a point where we could launch our new ‘X Series’ notebook at a level on par with the notebooks in the international market. Microsoft has given us a technical edge in the local market. The support Microsoft offered was imperative in reaching this competitive level, and we can look forward to seeing our relationship with Microsoft growing from strength to strength in the years to come.”

JOBS articulates Microsoft's pledge to ensure individuals have the requisite skills to succeed in the workplace through its delivery of customized training required for six entry level jobs: Customer Service Executive, Data Entry Operator, Transcriptionist, Accounts Associate, Legal Associate and Financial Analyst. The JOBS training is both generic and specific to these identified jobs and involves the application of existing knowledge and skills. Infoshare developed a skills framework using employer feedback, forming the basis for JOBS training, assessment and certification. This integration of skill requirements for the separate service areas in the BPO sector is a first step in establishing an industry standard to ensure training and development is in line with industry requirements.

JOBS is offered through IDM, Sri Lanka's first ever private sector training institute and a leading provider of ICT education. Moreover the IDM study centers offering the JOBS Training Course serve as job centers for individuals looking to enter the outsourcing industry. Individuals applying for the course are provided comprehensive job center services. IDM advertises the available jobs and the employers, screens candidates, conducts training and assessments and directs successful trainees to job interviews at BPO companies. Trainees are certified by IDM, Microsoft and SLASSCOM. IDM's Colombo Campus will initially offer JOBS training, subsequently rolling out the course at centers outside Colombo, including in Kandy and Negombo.

Sri Lanka's IT-BPO industry has set an ambitious goal of $1 billion in revenue to be achieved by 2015, representing an almost ten fold target increase in annual earnings. The global outsourcing industry is estimated to have realized only 10 per cent of its addressable market and has the potential to accelerate Sri Lanka's socio-economic growth by delivering new business and employment opportunities. However, to seize these opportunities, Sri Lanka must increase the employability skills of its workforce. “Sri Lanka ranked among the Top 30 emerging destinations for outsourcing in 2010 which bodes well for the future growth of the industry,” said Madu Ratnayake, Director and Vice President of SLASSCOM. “Part of our expansion drive focuses on building workforce capacities. JOBS is an important component in that effort: it delivers job-focused training, while raising awareness about the industry, the employers and the potential for long term, lucrative employment in one of the country's fastest growing business sectors. We thank Microsoft, IDM and Infoshare for taking a positive interest in the outsourcing industry and for contributing to the growth of the local workforce.”

SLASSCOM acts as the catalyst for growth for Sri Lanka's IT and BPO industry by facilitating trade and business, propagation of education and employment, encouragement of research and innovation, and by supporting the creation of a progressive national policy framework.

About IDM
IDM is Sri Lanka's first ever private sector training institute and a leading provider of ICT education for the past twenty-five years. IDM is affiliated to universities in the UK, Australia and Canada and offers over 200 academic programs through a network of over 55 educational centers. IDM is a Gold Partner for Microsoft training programs in Sri Lanka.

About Infoshare
Infoshare is a non-profit social enterprise working to create innovative technology solutions to help international organizations, governments and civil society increase the impact and effectiveness of their work. Infoshare provides organizations with technology tools, training and technical assistance to help address socio-economic development issues.