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Sri Lanka to promote aviation sector jobs among school students

Sri Lanka’s Civil Aviation Authority, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and SriLankan Airlines have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to promote aviation sector jobs among school children, through television programs and in-person orientations by SriLankan personnel.

The ‘Guwan Sihina’ program focuses on schoolchildren from rural areas, Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media Bandula Gunawardena said on Thursday (14).

“There are 4.4 million children across the nation, especially in rural areas, who come to school to only learn what they will be questioned in examinations,” Gunawardena said. “There is a skills mismatch.”

“In contrast to most developed countries, we do not offer opportunities for these children to broaden their understanding and ideas of the world beyond the school curriculum. That’s why a majority of Sri Lankans historically have struggled to find stable and sufficient incomes,” he said.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) statistics, in the next 20 years due to rising demand, 27,000 new aircraft will be needed to be added to the current 17,000 commercial fleet. Over 617,000 pilots will be needed to fly these crafts.

It also estimates that 609,000 new technicians will be needed to maintain these new aircrafts, and 40,000 air traffic controllers will be needed on ground, in 10 years time.

Gunawardena said that he was thankful that they can reach children through the television, to offer them the opportunity to see the jobs available in the aviation industry, naval field, ports and shipping sectors at a young age.

“We should help bring awareness to the sector, especially among the young and brave students of the O/L and A/L classes. We should show them what we have, attract them and prepare a generation of children suited for tomorrow’s world.”

Civil Aviation Authority Director General P A Jayakantha said: “We face challenges in finding persons with the right skills, qualifications and experience. This is a national responsibility, and we have to bring awareness to these children with the programs we have conducted.

“Those who benefited the most from our programs, in the past, have been the children of urban areas,” he said.

Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Nimal Siripala De Silva said the aviation sector made a profit of 26 billion rupees and the ports sector 19 billion rupees, this year. “I gave 10 billion of this to the treasury,” he said.

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