Overview of VTA
The Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka(VTA) was established on 16th August 1995 under the provisions of the Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka Act No.12 of 1995.It was a concept of His Excellency the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he was the Hon. Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training. VTA was established with the intent to provide skills for employment. The Manpower Division, the training arm of Labor Department which was running Technical and Vocational training programs in many parts of Sri Lanka, this was converted to the newly constitute Vocational Training Authority (VTA) making vocational training more accessible to rural youth and depressed segments in the country.
88The key intention behind establishing the VTA was to reach the rural mass of the country which was 72% of the total population, and make them to be skillful to find employment opportunities both locally and internationally. The the Board of Directors representing various ministries assigned with specific subjects areas, i.e., youth affairs, education, industrial development, finance and labor including the corporate sector.
This diversified representation at the board level leads to fruitful dialogue infusing wealth of knowledge and experience by them in their own fields. The chairman of the board is also the Chief Executive officer of VTA by virtue of the act while serving as the Commission member for Tertiary and Vocational and Education Commission (TVEC) and the University of Vocational Technology(UNIVOTEC), the most important entities established under the purview of the Ministry of Foreign Relations and Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations as of today, the VTA is operating as the largest vocational training network with 186 Vocational Training Centres (VTC), 22 District Vocational Training Centers (DVTC) and 8 National Vocational Training Institutes (NVTI), which was previously had just 31 Vocational Training Centres in 1995. Approximately, 35,000 youth get trained annually in 95 different full-time courses in 19 various trade sectors. When completing the training, youth are directed for local and foreign employment opportunities. Further, students are also eligible to apply for financial assistance scheme called "SEPI" to provide loans for those who intend to start self employment.