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President Chandima Samarasinghe addressing the 25th AGM
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SLASSCOM, MBA Alumni Association to launch ‘Future Careers Bridge’ program at University of Colombo

The SLASSCOM team and the MBA Alumni Association team with University of Colombo Vice Chancellor Prof. Chandrika Wijerathne

The Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) together with the MBA Alumni Association and the Vice Chancellor’s Office of the University of Colombo, via the Career Guidance Unit, have planned to launch an undergraduate-oriented initiative called the ‘Future Careers Bridge’ program for all faculties of the University of Colombo.

This is a talent assessment platform that would benefit the students, employers, and the university. The platform has a range of relevant topics that support ‘Future Careers Bridge’. With industries growing and evolving at a rapid pace due to innovations and disruptive technologies, this platform will enable young graduands to be made future ready for meaningful employment when they have completed their academic education at the university. This would overcome the current gap seen between their academic performance and the practical needs of the employers. 

Via this platform, under graduands will be trained for IT and soft skills, analytical and practical thinking, build confidence on public speaking, adopting disruptive technologies, English language and confidence of its use, and more-over, build the right attitude required for the corporate world.  

Speaking at the virtual gathering, SLASSCOM Chairperson Sandra De Zoysa said, “We have been waiting for this moment for some time and I think the partnership that we have formed here is a good one. Creating the essential capacity for the IT industry of Sri Lanka really requires us to work alongside academia to share our expertise and foster close ties between all of us, so that we can all be aligned to the needs of the industry.”

Vice Chancellor Prof. Chandrika Wijerathne spoke appreciatively of the efforts made by SLASSCOM and the University’s Alumni Committee. “When we develop our human capital, it is important to consider how job-ready they are; whether they join the public or the private sector, and initiatives of this nature are a good way to ensure that people are empowered and made ready for the vast changes taking place in the environment. I am greatly encouraged by this initiative of our alumni, who realising a need have volunteered to spearhead this pioneering project at no cost to us. I can see that this programme will enrich our graduates and make them useful to the economy.”

University Alumni Association President Boshan Dayaratne said: “We at the Association have been planning on how best we could add value to our graduates. They come from a wide background, some without resources. We are pleased that the business community is willing to give us resources to implement the program and we are looking forward to supporting the university with our expertise and resources. Students will be able to master much needed soft skills and gain internships through the platform giving them more opportunities. I would like to thank SLASSCOM for developing such a platform and supporting university students to be future ready workforce.” 

This portal is developed by a set of professionals engaged at SLASSCOM and it will continuously be improved, updated and developed with modules which are useful for a future ready workforce. Through this platform, students and the University of Colombo would be able to find internship opportunities for graduands in all faculties leading to job opportunities once they have completed their academic programs. 

The corporate organisations can register in the same platform and can conduct head-hunting programs based on the student performances. The program offers a holistic learning platform that tracks the progress of each student, which can be connected to a talent pipeline for corporates to identify and recruit candidates based on their requirements. 

Industry mentors are also connected to the grid for students to get recommendations. This is a continuous program that has been projected to run for many years, in all faculties of the University of Colombo with approximately 13,000 students benefiting. 

The long-term objective of this program is to ensure all students graduating from the University of Colombo are future ready for jobs and be employable, or develop them to be self-employed.