This project developed a new concept and a new model too in offering livelihoods training for the unemployed youth in lantations and surrounding areas which are among the poorest areas in Sri Lanka.
Project funded by the Ford Foundation focused on 1,000 unemployed youth who were trained in driving, motor cycle mechanics, mobile phone repairing, house wiring, aluminum work as well as beauty culture etc. More than 60% of them found gainful employment in less than three months after the training while the others found jobs in six months. In contrast to the expensive conventional vocational training conducted in formal training institutes whose training is often not relevant to the needs of the villagers the project identified the required and marketable skills in the project area first through a market survey. Besides, it studied the potential work places for the trainees within the area as well as in the close by towns of the district. The development of a low cost training conducted at temporary places with part time trainers and having a market strategy made the project much more cost effective.
Though the demand for the continuation of this result producing project was repeatedly expressed by the people in the area, school teachers and principals, religious leaders as well as the politicians who participated in the project completion ceremony activities had to be discontinued due to non-availability of funds.