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* USAID YouLead and Microsoft launch YouthWorks to increase employment and entrepreneurship among Sri Lanka's youth
Wed, Feb 28, 2018, 11:57 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 28, Colombo: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) YouLead program and Microsoft Sri Lanka signed a partnership to launch the new YouthWorks information technology portal at the Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training in Colombo today.

The portal will provide career guidance, technical and vocational courses, a mentorship platform, job placements, and a variety of other tools to support Sri Lanka's young job-seekers and entrepreneurs.

"This is a fantastic partnership between the public and private sectors," Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy Robert Hilton said. "A great American corporation, Microsoft, is cooperating with USAID and the Ministry of Skills development to address Sri Lanka's vocational education and employment needs. This benefits not only Sri Lankan youth, but also employers, educators, and policymakers."

YouLead will work with Microsoft, the Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training, and the private sector to develop and upload content for the YouthWorks portal in Sinhala, Tamil and English. The content will be specifically customized to Sri Lanka's rapidly growing vocational education and employment needs.

YouthWorks is a flexible portal that can improve the technical and vocational skills of the Sri Lankan workforce and help bridge the gap between required skills in a competitive economy and those existing among Sri Lanka's young population. The portal is currently being used in 18 countries and has helped more than 26 million youth over the past two years to strengthen their skills, find employment, or start their own businesses.

USAID funds YouthWorks under its $12 million (Sri Lankan rupees 1.8 billion) YouLead initiative that supports youth employability, entrepreneurship, and skills development in Sri Lanka. YouLead is implemented by the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) and administered by the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA).


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