World is changing and changing fast. Economy, Technology, Education, jobs, health, politics, eating habits – there is hardly anything in life that is not changing. There is one common factor in the change, i.e. the change is driven by technology. With the advent of 4th Industrial Revolution, many new technologies such as Drones, 3-D Printing, Cryptocurrencies, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Autonomous Vehicles, Big Data etc., it is expected that more than 40% of present day jobs will disappear within next decade and an equal number of new jobs will be created. The most important aspect is that the rules of the game for succeeding in the 4th Industrial Revolution is to invest on innovation, technology and human capital. Most importantly, it’s very much less capital intensive than previously, hence even nation like Sri Lanka has a fair chance of becoming a dominant player with the right long term strategy.
Sri Lanka has laid down its vision of transforming the economy to a Dynamic Modern Economy by 2025. The foundation of such a modern economy is essentially digital and requires upliftment of infrastructure and most importantly requires a dedicated focus on upskilling citizens.
With a timely recognition of a higher focus on skills, Sri Lanka has formed several Industry Sector Skills Councils. The ICT Skills council was formed in 2016 with the objective of having a dedicated Organization to focus on ICT Human Resource Development of the country. ICT Sector Council is an industry-led organization with representation from Ministry of Skills, Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital infrastructure, Ministry of Education, the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), ICT organizations such as SLASSCOM and FITIS. Through ICT Skills Council Industry, related Ministries, Private Sector, Voluntary Organizations and Partners come together to drive the national programs on ICT Skills under one umbrella.
The council has immediately identified the need of a National ICT Skills Development Policy (NICT-SDP) to have a holistic integrated single focus on the entire vocational training and ICT education system to meet the current and futuristic global demand of ICT skills.
The NICT-SDP set out in this document serves as the guide to ICT Skills development of Sri Lanka to meet the current and future ICT Skills requirement in-line with the overall national vision.