Feb 10, Colombo: The government has decided to provide free vocational training to the three-wheeler drivers from this year under the "From Three-wheel to Four-wheel" program implemented by the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA).
According to NAITA, the country has a labor force of about 9 million and there are 1.2 million registered three-wheelers. About 1 million - one-ninth of the work force are engaged in driving three-wheelers for living.
Due to the increase in public transport, private vehicles as well as three-wheelers, the day-to-day income of the three-wheeler drivers has been reduced.
A survey conducted by the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority has revealed that the number of people becoming three-wheeler drivers has exceeded the number of people leaving the vocation.
According to the survey, a three-wheeler driver who works for eight hours a day drives only for two hours on average and waits six hours per day for a hire. Vocational training is provided for drivers to use the idling time to engage in another job.
In this context, NAITA has implemented the 'From Three-wheel to Four-wheel' multi-objective program to enable the three-wheeler drivers to earn more income, provide opportunities for other type of jobs by improving the skills of drivers and to uplift the socio-economic conditions of the drivers.
Under the program basic training in the fields of plumbing, repairing electrical equipment, mobile phones, and household appliances and hair styling.
The pilot projects of the program has already been successfully implemented in the Nuwara Eliya, Matale and Polonnaruwa districts.
The program is expected to train about one million three-wheeler drivers by the end of this year.
Those who wish to receive the vocational training can register for the program by phone at 1951 or by visiting any NAITA District office, in addition to registering at "NAITA Sri Lanka" Facebook page. p>