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SLT-MOBITEL pushes boundaries in ICT & Telecom Education

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SLT-MOBITEL has always been the pioneer held in high esteem when it comes to offering the nation with ICT and telecom solutions. Having achieved for itself a name within the telecom industry, SLT-MOBITEL identified the significance of elevating the nation’s young minds and empowering the growth of the industry by tapping into the education sector. This is when SLT Training Centre (SLTTC) came into being, and today can be hailed as an educational institute that is widely recognised for specialized education in the country.

SLTTC was initiated with the aim of developing the competency of the company’s staff members and the steps that were taken by the telecommunications service provider eventually paved the way to expand their educational services even further; working to uplift youth who were enthusiastic about entering the telecom industry in Sri Lanka. The educational arm of SLT-MOBITEL, SLTTC first began operations by offering engineering courses which extended up to degree level courses. Now, the training centre is looking forward to diversify on their course offerings and provide a range of courses for members of the public who seek to achieve a career pathway in the telecom sector.

Commenting on the role that the SLTTC plays in the country’s tertiary education landscape, Janaka Silva, General Manager of Talent Development Division, Sri Lanka Telecom stated, “Sri Lanka Telecom Training Centres have, over the years, maintained and continued to make a name as a premier provider of education services in the ICT and telecommunications disciplines. Being the training arm of SLT-MOBITEL, it also places the training centre on a higher standing where our students are guaranteed to receive the best in terms of higher education and training, during their time here with us. With our abundance of facilities, range of short and degree-level courses and the knowhow gained through easy access to industry-expertise, our students will be able to find their footing in the real world out there and confidently penetrate into the ICT and telecom industry, both locally and internationally.”

Amongst the many advantages that SLTTC has to offer, is their affiliation with world-recognized universities such as the University of Hertfordshire, UK, which offers Bachelor of Engineering Honours Degrees in a variety of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Electronics & Computer Engineering streams and also is amongst the highest-ranking universities in the world. Another awarding body is the Pearson BTEC (UK), which offers Higher National Diploma courses in Computing and Electrical & Electronic Engineering.

Prospective students can choose from an array of short courses such as Certificate in Applied Information Technology (CAIT), Advanced Certificate in Contact Centre Profession (CCP), Data Communication (CCNA), Transmission and Telecommunication Technician (NVQ Levels 3/4), and some that cover areas including Optical Fibre, Power & AC,. Sri Lankan students can therefore, easily gain a world-class education from the comfort of their own country and that too, at a fraction of the cost it would take to seek education abroad.

Upon successful completion of their studies, students can also obtain IET membership. Students who graduate after completing their B.Eng. degree can also move forward with their study path and enrol in an MSc or MBA program that is being offered by universities in the UK, USA and Australia, to name a few. Students who complete a UK degree program may also be entitled to a two-year post work permit in the UK.

A major highlight from the training centre’s achievements is the recognition it received when 10 first-class honours holders graduated from two batches, in two consecutive years (2019 and 2020). This type of output is rarely witnessed and yet, the SLTTC has been successful in easily achieving this feat. This accomplishment is down to the dedication and industry-expertise displayed by the lecture panel. What sets their lecturing approach apart is that students receive the utmost attention from their lecturers and many of the lecturers are also employed at SLT-MOBITEL. Therefore, they come equipped with a plethora of industry experience and knowhow which benefits their students and provides them with the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge and experience.

Students being able to asily access their lecturers who are available to freely support their students at any time also helps in this process. Alternatively, students are also considered for internships at SLT-MOBITEL, thus providing them with an edge in terms of the fields they pursue and making the edification and career process ever more fulfilling. Many graduates have gone on to forge successful careers in their respective fields of study with their world-class qualifications being an extra stepping stone.

SLTTC has locations in Welisara, Moratuwa and Kandy. Amongst the many facilities made available to students, are lab facilities, sophisticated interactive classrooms, auditorium, recreation facilities, hostel facilities, library and canteen facilities. Extra-curricular activities are also a major part of the training centre’s learning experience and students are encouraged to take part in those proceedings.



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India Covid crisis hits work at its biggest ports as risk to trade grows

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(Bloomberg) — India’s devastating Covid-19 crisis is threatening operations at some of its biggest ports, raising concern the action could trigger shipping delays that reverberate through global supply chains.

Karaikal Port in southern India invoked force majeure until May 24 after operations were “severely affected” from the pandemic, according to a notice on its website. The terminal, which claims to be India’s biggest non-state port, handles coal, sugar and petroleum among other commodities. Gopalpur port in Odisha has also declared force majeure, according to IHS Markit.

The situation may echo global trade disruptions seen last year after virus restrictions slowed shipments into China. While India accounts for only fraction of the global trade that China does, any delays in offloading vessels and releasing them to their next destination could create supply chain bottlenecks.

India has 21.9 million tons of cargoes scheduled to arrive this month but with labor shortages and force majeure at some ports, many of the vessels could see discharge delays, according to IHS Markit associate director Pranay Shukla. That may have a knock-on effect on scheduled loadings at the exporting countries.

 

Cargo movement at Visakhapatnam Port, one of India’s major marine terminals, is also partly affected after the local traders’ body announced force majeure in the port area until May 19, according to G. Veeramohan, president of the Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

State-run refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp., which uses the Visakhapatnam port to import crude oil, is unaffected as it uses an offshore mooring facility for unloading tankers, Chairman Mukesh Kumar Surana said.

Large parts of India are under lockdown by provincial governments that are reeling from surging infections amid a shortage of vaccines and medical infrastructure such as hospital beds and oxygen. The stay-at-home orders are constraining the movement of people and materials to and from the country’s ports, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government resists a nationwide lockdown.

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Amãna Bank PBT up by 20% in Q1, records successful quarter in credit growth

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Amãna Bank continued to showcase strong resilience amidst economic challenges in Q1 2021, achieving a 20% YoY growth in Profit Before Tax. It is noteworthy that the 20% growth is achieved in comparison to a robust pre-Covid performance made in Q1 2020. Accordingly, PBT in Q1 2021 reached LKR 217.1 million compared to the LKR 180.2 million recorded in corresponding period. This quarter also saw the Bank recording its best ever quarterly achievement in Customer Advances, which significantly grew by 10% or LKR 6.1 billion in value.

Owing to its advance growth well supported by a healthy financing margin of 3.7%, the Bank’s Net Financing Income grew by 10% YoY to close the quarter at LKR 892.0 million. Net Operating Income after accounting for impairment closed at LKR 934.2 million. As an outcome of the Bank’s ongoing effort to contain costs, which resulted in a 7% reduction in Operating Expenses in comparison to Q1 2020, the Bank recorded an 18% YoY growth in Operating Profit before VAT on Financial Services to reach LKR 308.8 million. The Bank’s aggregate tax contribution of LKR 178.1 million for Q1 accounted for 58% of the Bank’s Operating Profit before all taxes.  Profit After Tax for the same period closed at LKR 130.6 million.

The Bank’s customer deposits grew by LKR 4.2 billion or 5% during the quarter to close at LKR 87.7 billion. The growth in customer deposits was achieved whilst maintaining a healthy CASA ratio of 45.7%. The Bank’s customer advances closed the quarter with a value of LKR 68.7 billion compared to 2020 ending position of LKR 62.6 billion. Having crossed the LKR 100 Billion milestone in Total Assets last December, the Bank went on to further grow its Total Assets by 6% to reach LKR 106.5 billion as of 31 March 2021.

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Sampath Bank partners with SDB Bank to offer greater operational efficiencies through cash management solutions

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Sampath Bank PLC recently entered into a strategic partnership with SDB Bank whereby customers of SDB can gain access to Sampath Bank’s branch network and cash/cheque deposit kiosks, enabling greater convenience and accessibility to new services, thereby driving greater financial inclusion. This partnership goes on to showcase how the convergence of a licenced specialized bank and a licenced commercial bank can create synergies, in line with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Government’s vision of consolidation within the banking industry.

The agreement, signed at the Sampath Bank Head Office in Colombo, seeks to develop a long-term partnership between both banks and their customers with Sampath Bank playing the role of a secondary participant to SDB Bank for SLIPS and CEFTS Settlements as the first phase of the Cash Management Solution (CMS). As a truly progressive financial institution, Sampath Bank has always sought to form key alliances that deliver value to Sri Lankans across the island and will seek to replicate this model across several industries and verticals. This forms the backbone of the Bank’s long-term vision for its Cash Management function, whereby optimization of processes will be driven, leading to gains to its bottom line.

The key merits of this partnership are that SDB Bank customers will now have access to Sampath Bank’s branch network comprising 228 branches including 13 Super Branches, 465 cash deposit kiosks, allowing them to carry out specific banking services such as cash/cheque depositing and loan repayments, among others. SDB Bank will benefit by being able to offer its customers an entirely new portfolio of modern banking products and services, thus creating greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, while Sampath Bank will be able to reach hitherto untapped customer markets, helping businesses and individuals in those areas to grow.

Speaking about the partnership Halin Hettigoda, Head of Deposit Mobilization, Sampath Bank PLC, said, “We are very proud to enter into this historic agreement with SDB Bank and congratulate them on the bold steps taken to create powerful operational synergies and an enhanced value proposition for their customers. Furthermore, the fact that they were so willing to partner with us, despite Sampath Bank being a larger operator, speaks volumes to the trust and confidence they have in us and the strength of our relationship.”

Thilak Piyadigama, CEO, SDB Bank, said, “This extension of our long-standing relationship with Sampath Bank will offer several benefits to our customers including centralization and improved management of payments and collections together with improving returns on liquidity. We are very excited about the potential of this innovative solution which will allow us to take that next step of delivering higher value services to all customer segments while streamlining our processes for the convenience of our employees.”

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