In recent years Sri Lanka has embarked on an ambitious drive to upgrade her infrastructure and boost her tourism industry. The construction industry will play the major role in the implementation of this policy. In order to make this objective successful it is of vital importance that the country has the necessary human resources available and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka has therefore specifically targeted projects that can build this much needed in-house capability.
An agreement that was signed today by the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka with Fonda Global Engineering Lanka (Pvt) Ltd,a leading engineering and construction company from Singapore, is for a training & testing center that will create in Sri Lanka, a pool of technically qualified workers, whose skills will not only meet pressing requirements of the local industry, but thanks to their obtaining of a qualification awarded by the Singapore Authorities, will open avenues for employment overseas.
The training & testing will be conducted at the Center, which is at the BOI Export Processing Zone at Katunayake. Candidates will have to sit for theory & practical exams conducted and assessed by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore. It is important to note that Singapore maintains very stringent quality standards hence any candidate who completes training & testing at the center will have a valuable qualification that will open opportunities for employment both local and overseas.
Under the agreement that company has signed with the BOI, they will establish the Overseas Testing & Training Centre, OTTC (Sri Lanka), a sprawling facility located at the BOI’s Katunayake Export Processing Zone on a land of approximately 11,000 square meters. Out of this area, a total of 7,000 square meters will be dedicated to training the candidates in the 4 buildings that will be refurbished for that purpose.
Fonda’s purpose built facilities will, once completed, include classrooms, conference room, rest area, canteen and show room. In the initial stages, the facility built at an investment of US $ 1.7 million will train 250 persons every month in a wide variety of specialized subjects that pertain to the construction industry, but officials from the company are confident that once the center functions at full capacity, investments could raise up to US $ 5 million and up to 1,000 candidates could be admitted to follow training & testing at the center.
To start with, the areas of technical training at the Center will include the following: system formworks, aluminium formwork, timber formworks, precast kerbs and drains, steel reinforcements, door and window aluminum, door and window timber, suspended ceiling, plastering works, plumbing and pipe fitting, tiling works, waterproofing works, electricity wiring installation, ducting and aircon ventilation, welding works, safety orientation course and electricity orientation course.
Fonda Global Engineering Lanka (Pvt) Ltd will develop the center in 4 phases and work is well underway.The fourth and final phase will be completed by the end of June 2013.
Fonda Global Engineering (Pvt) Ltd is a company that was established in 1994 to engage in building, construction and engineering and that has played a very significant role in Singapore’s development. The company staff strength currently stands at 300 professional and technical staff and a skilled workforce of up to 850. It is also a company which uses cutting edge software and hardware technology in construction and has the latest eight dimensional (8D) advanced construction management & operation system, Integrated construction facilities & maintenance management system, equipment and machinery such as modern tower cranes, excavators, concrete pumps and plastic form work.
In Singapore, Fonda is a household name as the company has secured many contracts to build high value buildings for the Singapore government including housing projects, schools, polyclinics, military bases, public infrastructures, food malls and convention centers.
In addition to the centre that will open soon in Colombo, Fonda has already a fully functioning center in Singapore and Bangladesh. Hence the establishment of a project of this nature under the BOI is very significant as the availability of skilled workers in construction will impact positively on future foreign Direct Investments in the country in key economic sectors such as infrastructure development and tourism.
Why Sri Lanka?
“Sri Lanka is a country with rich culture and many natural resources. Its people are hardworking, educated and friendly. Today the country is managed by an effective and efficient government, and that the nation progress and development are in good hand. It has been reported that the country GDP will be growing at a minimum of 8% per annum for the years ahead. Fonda will like to take this opportunity, together with the support of Singapore and Sri Lankan government authorities, to begin its investment plans in Sri Lanka, the proposed Training and testingcentre for construction skilled workers is the first step of our whole investment plans”.Fonda Global Engineering (Pvt) Ltd.
“We are also exploring to expand the training centre at the other states in the country, namely Kandy, Jaffna, Hambantota, etc. In addition, we are also looking into other investment opportunities such as educational campus development, setting up - integrated engineering services, facility maintenance management services, steel & aluminum production factories, and last but not least, property development and construction.” Fonda Global Engineering (Pvt) Ltd.