Sri Lankan Ophthalmic Technician and Audiology staff has huge employment opportunities in the gulf as well as Europe.
“They can earn five times more than an unskilled worker from Sri Lanka and can bring the much needed dollars to the country,” said Chairman, J.M. Wickramarachchi & Company (Pvt) Ltd, Mihira Wickramarachchi.
He said that another advantage is that the employees also have very good working conditions with limited work hours and even their housing provided by the employer is of high standard.
“After the global lock downs resulting from the pandemic the demand for Audiology and Ophthalmic Technician increased by huge numbers and the Gulf and Europe do not have sufficient trained manpower to fill these voids.”
“Taking this into consideration as one of the leading the Sri Lankan optical and hearing service providing companies we come to fill this global demand by sending Sri Lankans to meet this requirement and help the country firstly to open up quality high paying foreign employment opportunities for youth and secondly help to bring in the much needed dollars to the country.
J.M. Wickramarachchi & Company together with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) commenced two comprehensive, practice-oriented NVQ level training courses on Optometry recently.
Fifteen trainees with hearing impairment have been selected to follow the Ophthalmic Technician course (NVQ Level 3) while 31 trainees have been selected to follow Optometrist (NVQ Level 5) course at the Wickramarachchi Opticians Hearing Care Center in Delkanda.
“We have experienced that ‘hearing impairment’ staff also do the praise worthy job when they are given an opportunity and successful trainees will be placed in Wickramarachchi’s island wide branch network to be given on the job training before being absorbed to the staff of J.M. Wickramarachchi & Company.”
“I appeal to the Sri Lankan business community and government authorities to create more space for vocational education and employment for youth with ‘hearing impairment’ as it would be a prudent investment for their companies.”
Both these courses will follow curricula endorsed by the Tertiary & Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) and include elements of the German dual qualification that ensures conformity to quality standards defined by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK). The training initiative is co-financed by the J.M. Wickramarachchi & Company, Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The intervention was initiated through the Business Scouts for Development (BSfD) programme of AHK Sri Lanka.
“We strive to change the current reality of the Sri Lankan optical and hearing industries by creating more beneficial learning opportunities. We hope to produce a more professional and qualified team to raise the standards within the industry. We are very confident that these research and development opportunities will lead to create a very high standard and secured industry,” Wickramarachchi said.
Ambassador of Switzerland to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Dr. Domink Furgler speaking at the inauguration, said, “I am pleased that a unique programme offered to hearing impaired young people is launched. Changing mentalities, starting with families concerned is not easy and takes time and this is why projects like this are of great importance and radiance.”
“I am convinced that this will benefit the families concerned as well as the Sri Lankan economy and set the precedent. Switzerland stands ready to continue supporting such initiatives. They provide core practical training both technical and also social skills.”