Origin: SLTC Aspires to Adapt to Global Market Needs
The pandemic and rapid digitalization significantly increased the prevailing Sri Lankan tech skills shortage. Ahead of the pandemic, only 43% of the jobs within the Sri Lankan ICT sector were filled.
Before and especially after the pandemic, there are simply not enough skilled Sri Lankans to competently fill vacant tech positions. The tech skills gap has widened and enterprises cannot wait for students to graduate from multi-year technology degrees.
As a leader in tech education, SLTC took this challenge as an opportunity. SLTC’s continuing education arm, Masters Corporate Education, decided to address the immediate market need and offer shorter-term tech training courses.
Nuwan Dishan, Head of Masters, recalls: “We believed that offering tech training programs would not only be a great investment for the university, but also aid in closing the growing tech skills shortage in Sri Lanka.”
Nuwan Dishan, Head of Masters of SLTC
SLTC Meets Wawiwa
“After reading through Wawiwa’s website and presentations, I realized that this was going to be a valuable partnership for SLTC,” says Dishan. “Wawiwa’s CEO, Eran Lasser, impressed us from the get go with his down-to-earth and easygoing nature. During his career, he has reskilled more than 50,000 people in over 10 countries.
Eran and Leah Mansoor, Wawiwa’s VP Business Development, both gave me and President Rubasinghe the confidence that Wawiwa can deliver on its promise and help us reskill the next generation of tech professionals in Sri Lanka. It didn’t take long for us to sign the partnership agreement and begin integrating Wawiwa’s tech training programs into Masters’ portfolio.”
On March 7th, 2021, Wawiwa and SLTC established their partnership in an official signing ceremony. Eng. Ranjith Rubasinghe, Founder and President of SLTC University, said at the signing ceremony: “This partnership is important to SLTC and brings value even beyond the university, to the country.
I personally believe that bringing valuable technology reskilling and upskilling programs around Data Science will help evolve the entire economy and Sri Lankan tech industry to the next level. This partnership will create a new standard for IT reskilling in Sri Lanka.”
Eng. Ranjith Rubasinghe, Founder and President of SLTC University
The Onboarding Journey
Once the partnership agreement was signed, Wawiwa and Masters began putting the pieces together. “Wawiwa was very methodical with the onboarding process,” says Dishan. “Wawiwa had a template for everything, to get us going, and the team was always available for our every need, flexible and accommodating to our requests.”
Marketing campaigns and presentations were prepared leveraging Wawiwa’s guidelines and templates. Websites and landing pages encouraging student registration were programmed and promoted online.
A local Advisory Committee, composed of Sri Lankan affluent leaders from business and tech companies, was assembled to support the new programs and infuse the local industry’s needs into the local curriculum.
Masters organized several Open Days to tell the ecosystem and potential students about the new offerings and the lucrative tech career that awaits them. The Sri Lankan media was also invited, and celebrated this partnership in multiple articles detailing the new program offering and SLTC’s initiative to bridge the tech skills gap.
Wawiwa’s Head of the Data Analyst program, Mrs. Talia Morchi, along with Wawiwa’s Chief Training Officer, Daniel Anderson, led Wawiwa’s “Train the Trainer” modules to train the local instructor for the program, Dileepa Samayawardena. A Masters of Science in Big Data Analytics and Software Engineering from Gordon University, Samayawardena was carefully recruited for the trainer role based on his practical industry experience – beyond academic knowledge – in data science and analysis.
Left: Wawiwa’s Head of Data Analyst Program, Talia Morchi
Right: SLTC’s Data Analyst Trainer, Dileepa Samayawardena
The onboarding dashboard helped the two teams, located in 2 different countries and over 5,000km apart, to make steady progress and keep open communication. The pandemic travel restrictions in 2021 did not slow down the grit of the teams, whose members met virtually a few times a week and electronically updated the advancement of tasks.
Say Hello to Our First Cohort in Sri Lanka
Within 6 months, SLTC’s Masters opened doors for the first cohort of students in the new Data Analyst program on August 20th, 2021.
With COVID-19 still affecting Sri Lanka, the Data Analyst program is delivered remotely, fully online. However, the classroom dynamic continues to reflect the blended learning model, having synchronous live sessions, ensuring active class participation, and making sessions highly interactive.
Students also have the opportunity to meet guest experts from top Israeli tech companies, an additional benefit that supplements their tech education.
The first cohort will graduate in April 2022 and student feedback for the program is super positive all along. One of the graduates, Eranga Amarisinghe, commented that SLTC is the “best place for anyone who would like to enhance their knowledge in Data Analytics.”
Another graduate, Chrishani Gunarathne, praised the program, stating that it allowed her to focus better on the data already available and to make better decisions. She explained that “the program is well structured and easy to grasp. Content delivery is so smooth that they basically teach you everything step by step, making the learning experience fun and enjoyable… They go above and beyond to help us attain the best experiences in the data journey!”
The great feedback and progress has benefited Masters as it started promoting the 2nd cohort. Many first cohort graduates are referring colleagues from their companies to join the next batch of Data Analysts. With marketing and sales processes already established and validated, the next cohort of aspiring Data Analysts already starting the reskilling process.
The Next Growth Engine
Wawiwa and SLTC do not plan on stopping with the existing successes!
The partners are currently discussing the expansion of SLTC’s tech training offering to include programs for the upskilling of Data Scientists and reskilling for Product Managers and Cybersecurity Analysts. Additionally, SLTC wants to create variations of the Data Analyst program for specific industries such as marketing, HR, and healthcare.
Each new cohort at SLTC reduces the talent shortage in the Sri Lankan tech ecosystem and allows graduates to upgrade their careers, salaries, and lives for the better.
Bridging the Global Skills Gap: Wawiwa Tech
Founded in 2020 by an elite management team of Israeli education and tech veterans, Wawiwa Tech is an education provider that aims to bridge the global tech skills gap, one ecosystem at a time.
Wawiwa partners with universities, training centers, and entrepreneurs around the world to establish local tech training centers, or launch training programs at existing centers, with a goal to reskill people for tech jobs in high demand. Wawiwa utilizes a proven training methodology, cutting-edge content, digital platforms for learning and assessment, and strong industry relations to deliver training programs that result in graduate employability and satisfaction. Wawiwa’s training centers are built to last, focusing on revenue generation, profitability, and ecosystem impact.
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