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POSTED AT 07:20 AM 23-03-2019 to promote entrepreneurship

USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives Reed J. Aeschliman and YouLead Project Director Charles Conconi at the launch of web portal.

U.S. Agency for International Development-(USAID) funded, youth employment and entrepreneurship technology platform, was launched yesterday in Colombo, in collaboration with Global tech giant Microsoft in a bid to provide a comprehensive resource for youth ready to enter the workforce.

USAID is supporting the platform via the USD 12 million YouLead project and YouLead is implemented by the International Executive Service Corps (IESC), a US non-profit founded by David Rockefeller.

The platform will disseminate vital information about vocational training, employment opportunities across the country to accelerate opportunities to train youth and link them to available jobs. Also, will essentially provide career testing and guidance, interview preparation, training opportunities, on-line courses, mentorship, job matching, and even support to get a loan.

USAID-supported YouLead has gathered a consortium of international and Sri Lankan experts to add content and ensure the sustainability of the platform. Chief among these are the ServYouth Foundation USA and HeadStart (Pvt.) Ltd. USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives Reed J.Aeschliman speaking at the launch said, “USAID is committed to introducing cutting edge initiatives that contribute to the education, health and employment of youth across the world.

He said young people are critical to global stability, economic growth and the development of today. Most importantly, USAID has recognised the youth participation as vital to social and economic growth and USAID has partnered with the private sector, national governments, youth and civil societies across the world to build the capacity and empower the next generations of leaders.

“YouLead is not just a platform; it’s an eco system that will grow and expand as more youth will become part of the community, providing leverage to their ideas and ventures.” he said.It is expected that close to 20,000 users will be connected with the web portal by end of 2019.

“It’s not about the money; it’s about the relationship that we build, it’s all about partnerships and lifting lives. It’s not a hand out, it’s a hand up.” he added.

He said further USAID YouLead project currently improves the employability of Sri Lankan youth by teaching them the skills that align with the market demand and so they can take the advantage of rapidly growing and changing Sri Lankan economy.

Charles Conconi Project Director- YouLead speaking at the event said, “ web portal will gather all the young job seekers, entrepreneurs who are looking for career development, job matching, access to financing, e-learning and mentoring opportunities.

Indunil Hewage