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For Sri Lankan Youth USAID and Pizza Hut Open the First of 28 Commercial Training Kitchens

Unlatching new chances for youth in the developing fast-food sector, Sri Lanka launched its initial vocational training kitchen on October 14th at the Technical College in Kuliyapitiya. USAID will start a new curriculum lined with worldwide best practices and train vocational trainers and assessors for the program.

Financed by a US$ 1.3 million contribution from the Yum! Brands Foundation, the vocational training kitchen initiative titled ‘An Equal Slice for Everyone’ is the first in a series applied through a partnership between USAID’s Youth Empowerment and Business Start-Up activity, YouLead; Gamma Pizzakraft Lanka, the owner of the Pizza Hut franchise in Sri Lanka; and the Sevalanka Foundation.

With funding from Yum! Brands Foundation, the An Equal Slice for Everyone initiative will construct vocational training kitchens at 28 Vocational Training Authority and Department of Technical Education and Training centers across Sri Lanka.  The initiative will train 2,100 youth yearly on equipment and processes important for a career in the fast-food industry. Two centers will also be committed to training youth with disabilities.

Mr. Jagath Saputhanthrige, Director General of the Department of Technical Education and Training said, “We have to produce more vocational training facilities like the one we launched today to enable our youth to discover better employment in in-demand jobs. I would like to recognize the U.S. Government’s continued assistance to the people of Sri Lanka and Pizza ut International for contributing to this initiative and working with the public sector vocational training institutions to empower the youth of this country.”

Based on the successful conclusion of a six-month course, which consists of on-the-job training, students will receive a National Vocational Qualification Level 3 certification. Tack Bell, Domino’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Popeyes promised to assist Pizza Hut’s efforts by offering trainers and employment chances for graduates.

Chairman and CEO of Gamma Pizzakraft Amar Raj Singh said, “An Equal Slice for Everyone will help produce a constant inflow of work-ready youth for Sri Lanka’s fast developing fast food sector while helping youth goals for a better future. At Pizza Hut, we also have a powerful dedication to inclusivity and have allowed several young individuals with disabilities to discover profitable employment and the financial independence they dream of. We have included specialized training centers for youth with disabilities in this program and we are confident that it will encourage more youth with disabilities to look for careers in this industry.”

Through YouLead, USAID will help in the growth of new curricula together with best practices and offer training for vocational instructors and assessors who will provide the training and certify learning outcomes. YouLead aims to enhance vocational education in Sri Lanka, construct a more skilled workforce, and connect youth to productive careers.

Mr. Micah Globerson, Deputy Director Economic Growth Office of USAID said, “I am proud to see so many U.S. brands taking part in this program and throwing their assistance behind the career growth of Sri Lanka’s talented youth. It is especially encouraging to remember that the program helps depreciated youth to get access to skills training and jobs in a developing industry.”



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