Our Work


Skilled and Resilient Migrant Workers Project (SRMW)

Funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), IESC is implementing the $1.5 million Skilled and Resilient Migrant Workers Project (SRMW). SRMW is designed to make overseas employment safer and more rewarding by providing better occupational information and by increasing the skill levels of Sri Lankans going abroad for work. It will also help reintegrate returning workers by assessing their capabilities and linking them to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in Sri Lanka. With more than 50,000 migrant workers returning to Sri Lanka due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SRMW project comes at a very critical time as many returnees have very few employment prospects. To deliver support to Sri Lankan migrant workers and civil society organizations working with migrants, SRMW will leverage the counseling, vocational skills development, and entrepreneurship support mechanisms built by YouLead.

Tourism Resilience in Sri Lanka

Funded by the European Union (EU) and USAID, the Tourism Resilience Project is supporting the recovery and resilience of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry. To build a sustainable, innovative, and resilient tourism ecosystem, the project is (1) retaining jobs and small businesses through the provision of small grants and technical assistance; (2) supporting sustainability and innovation through the development of new and diversified tourism products; and (3) building small and medium enterprises that are aligned to those tourism products and better able to compete in the changing tourism landscape. The Tourism Resilience Project works in coordination with YouLead to contribute to the overarching goals of employment and enterprise development. See the project’s website here: https://www.thepekoetrailsrilanka.com/

Recent News:

The European Union and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Unveil First Ever Long Distance Walking Trail

“Serendipity Trails”: SLTDA, EU & USAID kick off first long-distance walking trail


YouLead improves technical and vocational education and training and increases the employability of young people in Sri Lanka. YouLead creates a more skilled and flexible workforce through activities that support and strengthen students, teachers, and institutions.  Please read our most recent newsletter here.

Key Results Achieved to Date

To date, YouLead has achieved the following results:

  • 29,242 young Sri Lankans with new or better jobs
  • 32,249  youth completed project-assisted workforce development programs
  • 77,359 youth received career and occupational guidance and counseling services
  • 800 new businesses set up
  • 31,985 youth trained in social or leadership skills through project-assisted programs
  • 1,892 career /occupational guidance practitioners trained to better match students to careers
  • 76 technical curricula designed or improved
  • 1,866 trainers receiving training by YouLead

Funder: USAID
Project Duration: 2017-2024
Award: $18 million


Global Communities, American Chamber of Commerce, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Skills for Life, Verité Research


Business Start-up Training Programme – Trainer Guides 1-4 – English

Business Start-up Training Programme – Trainee Workbooks 1-4 – English


YouLead Impact Bulletin – July 2023

YouLead Impact Bulletin – April 2023

YouLead Impact Bulletin – January 2023

YouLead Impact Bulletin – October 2022

YouLead Impact Bulletin – July 2022

YouLead Impact Bulletin – May 2022

YouLead Impact Bulletin – February 2022

YouLead Impact Bulletin – September 2021

YouLead Impact Bulletin – June 2021

YouLead Impact Bulletin – April 2021

Sri Lanka Youth Labour Market Assessment

Improving Youth Employment & Entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka: Insights and Strategies

YouLead in the News

USAID YouLead and Isobar Sri Lanka launch media campaign to empower and inspire youth

SDC and USAID join hands to launch the Safe and Resilient Migrant Workers (SRMW) project in Sri Lanka

USAID-funded YouLead Program in Sri Lanka Supports Verité Research in Identifying Ways to Improve youth entrepreneurship and employment

USAID-Funded YouLead! Programme Holds First Leadership Forum


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