The IT-BPO (Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing) Career fair conducted jointly by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), the Education Ministry (MoE) and the IT- BPO Private Sector held at the Asgiriya Police Grounds in Kandy recently drew large crowds.
The fourth in a series of eight regional IT – Business Process Outsourcing Career fairs planned to be held outside Colombo conducted registered a head count of a large number of visitors. The visitors consisted mostly of students from schools in as well as their teachers and parents.
While a large number of institutions connected with IT-BPO careers participated in the fair the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) showcased in particular its Nenasala (Wisdom Outlet) or telecentre service which it carries out through the ICTA-initiated 587 Nenasalas operating island-wide. Making the visitors aware of the services available at Nenasalas was quite pertinent as then especially the main target group of the IT-BPO career fairs will be better enabled to use the Nenasalas for their IT-BPO career pursuits.
Speaking about the rationale for conducting IT – Business Process Outsourcing Career fairs especially out of Colombo ICTA spokesperson had this to say: “Only less than 10% of those who sit their A/Level examinations get university placement. Awareness about the IT-BPO industry and the career opportunities it offers is low in Sri Lanka.
“This led ICTA – through its ICBP programme together with the Ministry of Education to run the first IT-BPO career fair, at the BMICH-Colombo in 2007 for school children. This fair organised to spread awareness about the IT-BPO industry also provided individual career counselling by the Ministry of Education counsellors along with IT-BPO industry personnel - was a significant success with over 2,500 school children attending.
As many schoolchildren from outside the Western Province were unable to attend this event, ICTA,the MoE and the IT- BPO Private Sector partnered again in 2009 to organise regional IT-BPO career fairs in eight districts – Anuradhapura, Badulla, Galle, Hambantota, Kandy, Kurunegala, Matara and Ratnapura”.
ICTA pointed out that the interest shown by students, teachers and parents in the IT – BPO Career fairs was gathering momentum ever since they were taken to the out-stations in March, the first in Galle and the second in Matara, the third t in Kurunegala and the latest in Kandy drawing increasing crowds in each of these four venues.
Responding to a call for cooperation for conducting fairs in the eight districts at the IT- BPO Career Guidance Fairs launch held last November the IT-BPO industry too offered their support to the fairs.
Referring to the Information Technology Business Process Outsourcing career guidance fairs being held in the districts, ICTA’s Chief Operating Officer Reshan Dewapura said: “In the case of well-known careers like those of doctors, engineers, accountants there are many groups to advise the children but in the case of careers in Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing there is no one to provide the necessary guidance. ICTA as the apex body for national ICT policy and direction has taken up the responsibility of creating this awareness among the villagers as part of its effort to bring ICT solutions under ‘e-SriLanka’ to make the people’s lives more comfortable. We are grateful that many have contributed to this effort, the lion’s share in this contribution being from the Ministry of Education and the IT- BPO Private Sector”.
Programme Manager, Private Sector Development, ICTA, Fayaz Hudah said that there was positive feedback from the students and teachers who accompanied them at the fairs.