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Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - LIFE -

“In­au­gu­rated in 1966, to­day we have earned lo­cal and global recog­ni­tion as the premier in­sti­tute for hos­pi­tal­ity and tourism man­age­ment ed­u­ca­tion in Sri Lanka and the re­gion. It has pro­duced lead­ers for em­ploy­ment in the in­dus­try not only na­tion­ally but also in­ter­na­tion­ally. We have been the back­bone of the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try of Sri Lanka from its in­fancy, pro­duc­ing the re­quired pro­fes­sional hu­man re­sources for the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try.”

Dis­sanayake also spoke about the im­me­di­ate re­quire­ments of the in­dus­try.

“With the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try es­ti­mat­ing nearly 110,000 new di­rect em­ploy­ees by 2020 to serve Sri Lanka’s grow­ing vis­i­tor base, last year alone 5485 stu­dents of SLITHM joined the in­dus­try of which 88 were grad­u­ates. This year the planned out­put is 7240 of whom 90 are grad­u­ates. All of them have al­ready found em­ploy­ment in the in­dus­try,” he said.

“To cater to the in­dus­try man­power re­quire­ments we have ex­panded our reach by estab­lish­ing new col­leges to at­tract young stu­dents into the in­dus­try and train un­em­ployed youth in ru­ral and sub­ur­ban ar­eas. We have launched a struc­tured pub­lic aware­ness pro­gramme for ca­reer choices. This is to de­velop our sup­ply chain to cre­ate in­ter­est among school leavers to join the hos­pi­tal­ity and tourism in­dus­tries,” Dis­sanayake fur­ther ex­plained.

A sig­nif­i­cant fea­ture of the cer­e­mony was the of­fi­cial launch of the school an­them, 52 years af­ter it be­gan oper­a­tions. The new an­them was well re­ceived by the au­di­ence.

Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, SLITHM, Bud­dhika He­wawasam spoke on the im­por­tance of in­ter­na­tional cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“With grow­ing de­mand for high qual­ity hu­man re­sources in tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity, SLITHM has iden­ti­fied the need to ob­tain in­ter­na­tional cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. We have set bench­marks for all ho­tel train­ing in­sti­tutes by spec­i­fy­ing in­ter­na­tional stan­dards and we will strive for ex­cel­lence while con­tin­u­ously up­grad­ing our­selves. Our aim is to stand out as a cen­tre of ex­cel­lence in the re­gion and one that pro­duces hote­liers who have the po­ten­tial to excel in the global tourism in­dus­try,” said He­wawasam.

Mean­while the top two awards for grad­u­a­tion year 2017, namely the Cey­lon Ho­tel School Grad­u­ates As­so­ci­a­tion Tro­phy for the Most Out­stand­ing Stu­dent in the Three Year Man­age­ment Di­ploma was pre­sented to Ms. P.S.V. Se­nas­inghe, while the Cey­lon Ho­tel School Grad­u­ates’ As­so­ci­a­tion Tro­phy for the Most Out­stand­ing Grad­u­ate was awarded to Ms. B. Ren­gaswamy.

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