Sail Lanka Yachting Group (SLYG) and ‘Building a Future Foundation (BAFF)’ are to replicate in the north of Sri Lanka, their successful boat-building and marine training project for youth.
Following the recent inauguration of the project in Velanai in the Jaffna district, Pierre Pringiers, Chairman of SLYG said, “Our idea is to replicate in the north of Sri Lanka, the successful ‘Building a Future Foundation’ project which we developed in south Sri Lanka to assist the local economies, following the devastating tsunami of 2004.
BAFF has already created hundreds of employment opportunities for young people in the yachting industry in the south of the island, and we hope to replicate this in Jaffna. Twelve youth from the north have already followed a theoretical and practical training course of 12-months duration at the BAFF training center in southern Sri Lanka.”
The company said the project was inaugurated with Douglas Devananda, Minister of Fisheries in the presence of several distinguished guests.
“We believe Jaffna has the potential to be our new hub for marine and experiential tourism. It will become our third centre of operations after Mirissa and the Port City Colombo Marina, and will allow us to develop local and cross-border tourism. The 540 square metre new SLYG training centre and boatyard is situated on a 4.5 acre land in Velanai,” Mr. Pringiers said.
The Jaffna training centre will conduct courses in the basic skills of mechanical engineering, electricity, welding, refrigeration and air-conditioning, followed by hands-on experience in dedicated boat building, and outboard and inboard engine repair and maintenance.
The courses which will be conducted over one-year, will comprise a mixture of theory and practical training to enable the graduates to work in the developing boat manufacturing industry in Sri Lanka.
The practical training will be in the manufacture of yachts such as the Ocean Diamond – an 80-foot floating boutique hotel, and the Ceycat – a 55-foot sailing catamaran for water-based tourism both in Sri Lanka and overseas.