Sri Lanka ranks fifth in the world in development in the ICT sector, says ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) Chief Executive Officer, Reshan Dewapura. Dewapura said so during his address at the launch of the National ICT Workforce Survey 2010 Report cum media conference held in Colombo last Thursday (23).
Speaking further on the occasion, Dewpura said that the IT workforce in Sri Lanka estimated as at end of 2010, had stood close to 60,000 which was a significant growth of almost 100 per cent from 2006. "It is also estimated that the number of direct ICT job opportunities created in the coming years will be close to 10,000 per year", ICTA CEO revealed.
Dewapura said that it was not surprising that all information coming out of the survey indicated the enormous increase, the year-on-year growth of the national IT workforce reflecting the development of the ICT sector in Sri Lanka. Pointing out to a globally accepted indicator of success and Sri Lanka’s ranking in the world, he said: "The one indicator that beautifully captures these successes in a nutshell is the NRI or the Networked Readiness Index where Sri Lanka’s percentage position has gone up in the last five years from 72 to 48". Alluding to the World Economic Forum , Dewapura said that the WEF, in its report had commented that in the last five years Sri Lanka had the biggest improvement in the NRI and hence the fifth best development in the ICT sector in the world.
Explaining the cause of this growth ICTA CEO said that Sri Lanka’s tireless pursuit in the implementation of the e-Development agenda under the guidance of the Government policy document ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ was yielding positive results.
Referring to the need for the survey Dewapura said that ICTA had undertaken the survey due to the multitude of requests from different stakeholders in the ICT industry, the academia and also potential investors.
"The aim of this survey was to gain a clear understanding of the extent and composition of the ICT workforce in Sri Lanka and then to weigh that against the supply of skilled personnel., Dewapura said clarifying the purpose of the survey.
The survey also has been able to capture anticipated gaps between supply and demand for the future employment opportunities in the IT/BPO sector in Sri Lanka. It also contains specific information related to ICT training in Sri Lanka.
Participating in the occasion ICTA Monitoring and Evaluation Programme Head, Jagath Seneviratna explained the modus operandi of the survey and the basis of its findings: " The survey findings are based on information gathered from 510 organisations which included 75 IT companies, 80 Government organisations, 30 IT/BPO companies, 75 IT training organisations and 250 IT user companies". Responding to a query from the audience on the spread of the survey Seneviratna said that while most IT related companies were headquartered in Colombo the staff serving in them hailed from all parts of the country. He emphasised that, as could be seen from the methodology explained in the report , rules of sampling etc. required for the validity of the findings had been strictly adhered to.