Dileepa Sandaruwan 's Story

“I still remember the day my mother compelled me to attend a program organized by the Berendina Employment Center at the Divisional Secretary’s (DS) Office in Dehiowita. It was at this event that I discovered the career I wanted to pursue.” Dileepa Sandaruwan (24) hails from a middle-class family residing in Thalduwa, Dehiowita DS Division. His father is unemployed, and his mother works as Field Officer in the Rural Bank. His older sister is married, and his younger brother is an informal employee in the Seethawaka Industrial Zone. Dileepa did not pursue his education post-GCE (O/L) class. He continues.. “it was the first time I participated in such a program along with more than a hundred youth. My Career Test result indicated the Hospitality sector, and it was very fortunate that the Berendina officials made me aware of the residential course at the Korea-Lanka School of Hospitality and Hotel Management at Wattala.” The Berendina Employment Center then sent him along with 15 youth to an interview to the Hotel School, and Dileepa was selected for the Food & Beverage Course. “The four-month training was very valuable, playing a pivotal role in my life,” confesses Dileepa. On completing the training and final examination, he went to the Amaya Resort in Seeduwa for a period of three months. He underwent further training, earning a monthly allowance of Rs.10,000/=, uniforms, lodging and free food. He also was able to avail himself to 10 days of leave per month. “The Berendina Officers were in contact with me for my feedback, and to follow-up on my On-the-Job Training (OJT); I qualified for the NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) Level 3 certificate in Food and Beverage,” he states. Dileepa was pleasantly surprised to be informed by Berendina about a vacancy at the Kolonna Riverside Hotel which happens to be nearby his house After an interview, he was selected as Steward in the Pastry department with a basic salary of Rs.19,000/= plus 50% Service Charge; he currently makes approximately Rs.25,000/= with free food. “I really must admit that I value the importance of the training and the OJT I received through the assistance of Berendina, and am overjoyed to be gainfully employed soon after the course. I am very grateful to Berendina and its management,” he beams. “My hope is to progress in my career in the hospitality sector, and to become one of its best employees.”