ICTA career fair
The Information and Communications Technology Agency (ICTA) will host Sri Lanka's first comprehensive National ICT Career Guidance Fair on the September 1 and 2 at the BMICH, Colombo as a part of its ICT Capacity Building Programme (ICBP).
The career fair will follow the National ICT Capacity Summit (NICS '07) planned for August 31 at the Trans Asia, where the national strategic plan for the Sri Lankan ICT industry will be unveiled. The National ICT Career Guidance Fair is championed by the Ministry of Education.
"The theme of the National ICT Career Guidance Fair is 'Think Big'. Our main objective is to create a paradigm shift in the way students, parents and other stakeholders view potential careers. We want to encourage them to break away from traditional career choices and attract talented youth to the rapidly growing ICT industry," said Dr. Archana Arcot, the Chairperson for the Career Guidance Fair and Vice President-Human Resources for WNS Global Services, Sri Lanka.
"The career guidance fair targets parents, career counsellors from schools, students specially A/L and O/L students and also existing middle management professionals, who might be interested in entering the growing ICT industry. All other stakeholders in the industry such as potential employers, educational and training institutions will also be present," she added.
The National ICT career guidance fair will host a range of awareness programmes targeting different groups like students and career counsellors, in an attempt to create greater awareness of the potential in the ICT industry, different entry paths to the industry, the full range of career options available and the qualifications or skill set required.
According to the latest Sri Lankan ICT Workforce Survey the IT work force in 2006 was estimated to be 30,120 and the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) workforce to be between 4000 - 5000. However, there is an additional requirement of 7,672 employees for the IT industry and 1,000 more for the BPO sector.
"There will be opportunities for participants to walk out with a job, especially for those at a middle management level and also for school and university students," Dr. Arcot added. "Training institutes participating in the career fair will also offer scholarships to deserving individuals who are keen on entering the ICT/ BPO industry, based on their merit at the career fair," she added.
According to Dr. Arcot students and practitioners with other professional qualifications such as law, CIMA and CIM will also find interesting opportunities, especially in the BPO sector to work as domain specialists. "We are also planning to take this event outside the Western Province. Two regional events are planned and will be hosted within this year," Dr. Arcot said.
A precursor to the National ICT career guidance fair was held on June 12 at the HNB towers. This was aimed to bring together Principals from the Western, Central and Southern Provinces to create awareness about the opportunities that will be available at the career fair. This preliminary meeting involves a presentation by the Secretary to the Ministry of Education titled "Vision for ICT education" and an interactive session on "the roles of academia" in creating a relevant skill pool.
NICS is supported by the Association of Computer Training Organizations (ACTOS), IT Enabled Services Association (ITESA), Software Exporters Associations (SEA), Sri Lanka Association for the Software Industry (SLASI), Sri Lanka Computer Vendor's Association (SLCVA) and by all relevant Government and Academic institutions.