The ADB Skills Sector Enhancement Program (SSEP) in Sri Lanka is supporting the government’s Skills Sector Development Program (SSDP) to build an efficient skills development system to meet labor market demand, increase gainful employment of the youth, and contribute to human capital development.

The SSEP is improving the quality of the technical and vocational education and training system (TVET) in Sri Lanka. It is increasing TVET access and participation, strengthen partnership with skills training providers, and introduce policy, institutional, and operational reforms.  


Sri Lanka - a country rich in human capital is equipping its youth with the right knowledge and skills in order to build a competitive and productive workforce for the labor market.

Suraj Bandara
Occupational Health and Safety Officer
MAGA Engineering (Pvt) Ltd
Course: Occupational Health & Safety

I learned to do this job as an Occupational Health and Safety Officer, by training at this MAGA Engineering (Pvt) Ltd and also by working there.

The skills and experience I gained from the training department was key to my ability to carry out my work successfully.

Suraj was a participant in the government’s Skills Sector Development Program.

ADB is working with the government to improve the technical and vocational education and training system or TVET through a $100 million loan in 2014 for the Skills Sector Enhancement Program.

An additional $100 million was provided in 2018 to scale-up its early successes.

The program is helping bridge the gap between the skills needed in the labor market and those available in the workforce, particularly the youth.

It aims at improving skills in the construction, tourism, information technology, and manufacturing industries, taking into consideration disadvantaged groups and women.

Udaya de Silva
Programme Manager – Skills Sector Development Program
Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation

Asian Development Bank is one of the first development partners which stepped in to support the government’s Skills Sector Development Program with a financial assistance amounting to US$200 million loan.

And they’re the most significant contributor and most important development partner under this program.

This program immensely helped to get gainful employment by addressing the skills mismatch between the labor market and skills availability.

It provides opportunities and gainful employment to the students.

In 2020, 60% of TVET enrollees completed their courses, 61% of them are male and 59% female.

71% of the graduates gained employment.

More than 124,000 students enrolled for quality assured TVET, 44% are women.

Angela Rathnayake
Fashion Design Technology
Vocational Training Institute

For these months, I have learned about draping and drawing models and sketchings. And sewing techniques and embroidering.

First of all, I plan to get a job as a trainee and as I get enough experience, I want to start my own local brand and to improve it to international level.

TVET gives graduates the skills and knowledge they need to get productive employment.

The program contributes to building Sri Lanka’s human capital in support of the country’s sustainable development.