(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena requested the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to assist the government’s initiative to establish a digital data base of labour workforce in Sri Lanka. He pointed out that the Ministry of Labour has taken steps to establish a comprehensive digitalized data base of the workforce and urged the ILO to assistance for expediting the process.
This was discussed when ILO Country Director Simrin C Singh and Senior Employment Specialist of ILO Headquarters, Sher Verick called on him at the prime Minister’s Office today (13).
The Prime Minister briefed them on the impact of the Covid pandemic and economic crisis on labour workforce and the short-term and long-term steps taken by the government to recover the economy and to help the workers, especially the low-income labour force.
Ms Simrin Singh said despite some signs of positive trends, most developing countries including Sri Lanka are faced with difficulties due to global recession, limited fiscal space, debt sustainability challenges and rising inflation. She pointed out that these issues have resulted in a labour market crisis.
Prime Minister Gunawardena stressed that the government was very keen to make labour workforce upwardly mobile and explained the multitude of training programmes launched for skill development. Increasing the quality and quantity of jobs is the surest way of moving people out of poverty, he said.
Employment Specialist Sher Verick said that the founding principles of the ILO concerned not only with ensuring sources of income, but also as a means for people to live a self-determined life, and for participating fully as citizens in their communities.
Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara said emphasized that the quality is the essence of the concept of decent work, defined by ILO as opportunities for men and women to obtain productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.
The ILO delegation assured fullest support to all the efforts taken by the government for the wellbeing of the labour and measures for upgrading skills of the workforce.