Most young people of today are not aware of the education options and career pathways available to them and end up finding themselves on the wrong road. "Today, there are many educational opportunities and options available, but the question before us is whether there is adequate access and awareness for those who are on the lookout" says Harin Malwatte, Secretary General/CEO of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC).
However, EDEX National Higher Education and Career Guidance Expo, in its 7th year running is working tirelessly to fill this vacuum, making choices, options and opportunities available in this regard to a large demographic of youth in the country, he pointed out.
"Most of the time we are not catering to those hungry for information as only a limited section of the media or the society provides information on education matters, which in turn reach only a small segment of people. EDEX has managed to open the door wider, for more people to access this knowledge as well as guide them on the right path," he said. I am happy to see that most English and a few Sinhala weekend papers have an education section. The section is more of opportunities and falls short of guidance. The coverage of a weekend newspaper is limited. EDEX has now grown beyond the exhibition to a 24/7 one stop shop for educational choices, options and opportunities for the entire population.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, being the premier chamber with a history of over 170 years will support EDEX 2010 Expo that will take place on January22 to 24 at the BMICH Colombo, and on January 26 and 27 at the Queen's Hotel Kandy as a Strategic Partner. We started our journey together from the time the idea of EDEX was conceived and stayed together over the years.
The Chamber Steering Committee on HR and Education works closely with the University Academia and the private sector taking initiatives and activities towards having job seekers with right competencies and attitudes for gainful employment. To cater to a vast number of students who cannot gain entrance to the local universities, the Chamber had developed career guidance short videos covering 24 careers. These teleplay videos on career choices and options will feature at EDEX 2010.
Mr. Malwatte went on to say that the private sector was full of opportunity as it was in need of those who followed the right career pathway that suit their preferences and qualifications.
One way to develop a passion for excellence is by selecting the right career path. He explained that the Chamber has been partnering with EDEX for the past five years as they have grown beyond just an exhibition, and are offering guidance to students and job seekers throughout the year.
"Even after the exhibition ends, the EDEX mandate continues to provide a range of career guidance opportunities and choices as well as fitting students into fields they are best suited for and interested in, especially through their website and counselling services," he said.
Organized by the Royal College Union, EDEX has focused on empowering Sri Lankan youth to be globally competitive in the education and careers arena since 2004. Presenting choices, options and opportunities in these fields have been their objective, which has now grown to accommodate the 'Green Zone' where students with a 'green' consciousness and mindset will be provided with a dynamic environment to help decide the course of their future and promote the sustainable living concept at EDEX this year as well.
The Chamber will share their experiences of Green Technological Interventions in Sri Lankan Industries from the Eco-Efficient Productivity Project and many other green business initiatives with EDEX.