H’tota Port ready to ‘fast track’; but lacks skilled people | Sunday Observer

H’tota Port ready to ‘fast track’; but lacks skilled people

The Hambantota industrial port project is in need of skilled employees to fill up to 5,000 vacancies opening up over the next five years. However, port officials are now facing a drawback as there are few people ‘in the area who could live up to expectations’ of the future employers, a senior port official said. Over the next five years, Hambantota port and the industrial zone project will need to hire 3,000-5,000 skilled youth.

“Hambantota port is ready to fast track its business plan and facilitate export promotions with its free trade zone,” CEO of Hambantota International Port Group (Pvt) Ltd, Captain Ravindra Jayawickreme told a Ceylon Chamber of Commerce forum in Colombo on Thursday.

The port now employs around 600 people, through an outsourcing company. “We are now working with vocational institutions and related institutions to develop a proper scheme to train the required number of people to fill the vacancies in the industrial port project,” Capt Jayawickreme told the Business Observer.

“When the port was leased out and when we offered jobs to the existing staff only 17 people joined our company out of several hundred employees attached to the earlier employer. They all preferred government jobs,” he said.