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Home EFC News National Skills Passport Takes off on the World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) of 2020
National Skills Passport Takes off on the World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) of 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 31 July 2020 22:04

The National Skills Passport (NSP) is a novel concept introduced in Sri Lanka by means of a smart card issued to a skilled person having NVQ along with at least one year confirmed related employment experience. The card is connected to a dedicated online portal ( ) which connects different stakeholders such as employees, employers, qualification body and labour market intermediaries. The NSP is expected to serve a long standing issue of recognition of skilled workmanship with certified experience through a central web-based online database.  The NSP smart card carries a QR code for convenient search online.

The NSP is a tri-partite project between the Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC), the International Labour Organization (ILO), Colombo Office and the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) launched under the guidance of the Ministry of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations.  It is a virtual document that records the knowledge, skills and attitudes of a worker which will be applied to deliver their work productively.  It can be used in the formal sector to help employees create a comprehensive portfolio of skills and qualifications, along with references and experiences, which ensure its comparability with various skills assessment frameworks. This provides the NSP holders a “gateway” to find suitable jobs, accessing reskilling and upskilling opportunities locally and internationally.

One of the benefits of the NSP for migrants who have returned to Sri Lanka is that they can seek recognition of their prior learning and get NVQs with the NSP.  This will help them move vertically or horizontally through job roles within the industry. Thus returning migrants are encouraged to obtain National Vocational Qualification through the NAITA before applying for the NSP.

In a case where a person has migrated to some other country to serve as an unskilled labour category and returned back after serving around 5 years without any paper qualification for their performance abroad.  These persons could apply to obtain related NVQs from a basket of around 500 National Competency Standards (NCS) listed in TVEC website ( through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) pathway.  Having obtained NVQs they can then apply for the NSP through TVEC online portal ( ).  This paves the way for them to apply for better jobs locally or abroad for a better salary with recognized qualifications.

Similarly, a returning migrant automobile mechanic would be able to start his own small/micro enterprise if there were a formal system to recognize their skills, which could perhaps be used for availing a bank loan, or attracting more customers based on proven competencies.  Likewise, a beautician or a cook would have better chances of upskilling and accessing higher-paid jobs, provided they are able to exhibit official proof of their competencies.

The NSP is hence a vehicle to serve the needs of migrant returnee jobseekers such as construction workers, the auto-mechanics, beauticians, and cooks.  In essence, the NSP is a system of e-documentation that shall ensure the skills, expertise and experience of a worker in a streamlined manner, providing the individual worker’s history both within and across sectors.  It also serves the purpose of creating online standard CV (curriculum vitae), a more detailed synopsis than a normal resume. It gives clear, concise and precise and up-to-date information with current employment and educational information.  The CV system in the NSP is benchmarked with the “Euro Pass”, an online CV tool for EU countries.

Not only the workers but the employers are also benefitted with this new NSP by reducing the pain of searching talented persons with certified skills and authenticated experience.  In this system, experience of a person is primarily authenticated by the EFC and their network of HR managers.  Employers could eventually identify the up-skilling and re-skilling requirements of an employee.  This will help career progression, labour mobility and hunt for better employees through the system.

This initiative supports Government’s long-term skills planning for the economy and facilitates easier matching of skills base for future employment creation.  The system supports to track employability of the NVQ holders with up-to-date database.   It will provide information for streamlining migrant workers by skill-type by bridging the gaps in the labour market both locally and overseas.  Eventually, this will help attract migrant returnee workers to industries such as construction, which are currently facing a high demand, with inadequate local workers to bridge the gap. 

An additional benefit of the NSP is that it can be directly linked with the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) being a platform that helps recognize informally acquired knowledge, skills and competencies through formal assessments and certification. The new NSP can be a career guide for the workers if their RPL results and performance are documented as a starting point to provide evidence of their skills, and a key to open many doors for them in the future.

Janaka Jayalath

Director General (Actg.)

Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC)

Ministry of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations



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Last Updated on Saturday, 01 August 2020 19:39

The EMPFED -Third Issue - June 2020