SOS Children’s Villages passionately believes that young people should be given the skills and experience they need for a successful career. That is why we run a number of youth employability programmes across the world.
Take the SOS Vocational Training Centre (VTC) in Sri Lanka for example, which is open to roughly 150 students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds each year. It offers six professional training courses in areas like mechanics, baking, carpentry and computing. Those who finish their course are awarded with nationally and internationally recognised qualifications.
But the VTC doesn’t just focus on academic success. SOS Children’s Villages believe that for a successful and happy life, young people need a variety of life skills on top of academic qualifications. Therefore, we offer extra classes in English, IT skills, child safeguarding, leadership and first aid. Students can also take classes in basic maths to support them in starting their own business. These additional skills help to prepare them for life both personally and professionally.
Here you learn lessons for life, not only for your job. It has helped me a lot in my everyday life and so I can only invite others to also get important life lessons here.
Priyantha Bandara took part in a training course at the VTC. He trained in welding and since 2016 has been running his own business in his hometown. Today, business is thriving and Priyantha can support his family. “This is an agricultural area, so I can make the trailers and grills for the farmers,” he explains. “If you go to the Training Centre you can get a good job with a stable position in life and support others as well, like me”. He is now giving back to SOS by providing on the job training to a current student. This hands-on approach gives students the chance to gain valuable working experience as part of their education. Looking to the future, Priyantha has big dreams. “I want to further develop my business with more people.” He has recently purchased some land and is planning to build a workshop to expand his welding business.
Read more about our global youth employability partnership YouthCan!