Youth in Sri Lanka’s war-torn north benefit from vocational training


Sri Lanka - Inauguration ceremonies are being held today to mark the opening of two vocational training centres in Mullaitivu District in northern Sri Lanka, part funded by IOM.  

Young people from 18 to 25 years living in the district – one of the worst-affected in the country’s 30-year civil war – will have now access to training courses in several employment sectors.

Under a programme called iLead (Initiative for Livelihood Education and Development), participants benefit from both technical training and personal development. Along with employment-related courses like IT, beauty therapy, tailoring, and motor cycle maintenance, youth will learn communication skills, English and Sinhalese, and also get an understanding of workers’ rights.

The four-month course comprises three months at one of the centres and one month on-the-job training.  On completion of the course, the participants will be assisted to find job placements.

The training programme will be implemented by Aide et Action International and funded jointly by the Office of the Advisor on Reconciliation to the President and IOM.

Aide et Action has been implementing the iLead project in Galle, Colombo and Vavuniya districts for the last five years. During that time 3,220 young people have been trained, of whom 80 per cent have found jobs.  

IOM’s Chief of Mission in Sri Lanka Richard Danziger explains:  “We are particularly excited about this partnership with government and Aide et Action that will give youth in the North a chance for normalcy and a productive life that were denied to previous generations.”

IOM’s support is provided through a Government of Japan-funded programme on Reintegration and Reconciliation Assistance to Northern Conflict-affected Communities.

For more information, please contact

Richard Danziger, Chief of Mission
IOM Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 11 532 5353