Business News Sri Lanka: The Hayleys Plantations Sector set a new benchmark for human resource development after 100 Field Officers representing Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC (TTEL), Kelani Valley Plantations PLC (KVPL) and Horana Plantations PLC (HPL) were selected for the NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) and the first-ever National Skills Passport (NSP) programme in the plantations industry.
The NSP system is part of a broader e-documentation initiative aimed at enhancing employment and livelihood opportunities for passport holders by collating their skills, expertise and experience across different sectors of the economy.
The National Skills Passport is a tri-partite initiative between the Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC), International Labour Organisation (ILO), Colombo Office and Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) with the technical support of National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA). It was launched under the guidance of the Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations Ministry.
Selected Field Officers who have completed the final evaluations by NAITA assessors were felicitated at a special national level ceremony hosted at Temple Trees.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse was the chief guest at the event which was attended by Minister of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations Dinesh Gunawardena along with senior government officials representing relevant authorities and senior management personnel from the respective private sector companies.
“When skill development is combined with technology, we are able to create powerful new opportunities. As an organisation that has won global acclaim for our efforts to raise the quality of living for our employees, Hayleys Plantations is proud to have been the first to support our employees in joining a digitally empowered workforce and help innovate new solutions to resolve long-standing challenges in our industry and the national economy as a whole,” Hayleys Plantations Managing Director Dr. Roshan Rajadurai said.
Field Officers selected for the facility should have at least one year of experience in the field and are evaluated by the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) for both theoretical and practical aspects in preliminary and final evaluation rounds. Once the evaluation process is complete, the respective staff member is issued a digital Skills Passport which is a smart card with a QR code facilitating the convenient search of their skills online.
“The innovative and unique training and development drive of Hayleys Plantations has also been recognised in several local and global HR platforms. We are marking another great milestone by producing field officers with NVQ qualifications, which is strengthened by them being awarded the first-ever Skills Passports,” Kelani Valley Plantations General Manager – HR & Corporate Sustainability, Anuruddha Gamage stated.
The dedicated NSP online portal is connected to employees, employers, qualification bodies and labour market intermediaries. The virtual document records the knowledge, skills and attitudes of a worker. It can be used in the formal sector to help employees create a comprehensive portfolio of skills and qualifications, along with their references and experience, ensuring compatibility with various skill assessment frameworks. This provides the NSP holders a “gateway” to find suitable jobs, accessing reskilling and upskilling opportunities, locally and internationally.
An additional benefit of the NSP is that it is directly linked to the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) platform, which helps recognise informally acquired knowledge, skills and competencies through formal assessments and certifications. NSP can be a career guide for workers if their RPL results and performance are documented. Additionally, it is a starting point to provide evidence of their skills, opening many doors for them in the future.
Established in 1878 by Chas. P. Hayley as a trading house in Galle specialising in import and export, the Hayleys Group has since grown to serve as a centrepiece of the Sri Lankan economy while maintaining a global presence of manufacturing and marketing offices across five regions with business interests spanning a total of 16 sectors. Today it stands out as one of Sri Lanka’s most prominent success stories, having been the first listed Sri Lankan corporate to surpass US$ 1 billion in revenue and accounting for 3.3% of the nation’s total export earnings.