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|Founder||Royal College Union|
|Type||Social Responsibility Project|
|Focus||Education and careers guidance|
|Origins||RCU career guidance programmes|
|Method||Exhibitions, publication, web portal|
|Owner||Royal College Union|
|Kamal Abeysinghe, Chairman|
EDEX is a multi-stakeholder initiative promoted by the Royal College Union, the alumni association of Royal College Colombo, Sri Lanka. Launched as the annual social responsibility project of Royal College Union with the vision To empower Sri Lankan youth to be globally competitive; EDEX has emerged from being an education and careers exhibition to a multi disciplinary voluntary service organisation that serves the nation with many value additions, including EDEX Expo, EDEX Careers, EDEX Magazine, EDEX Think Green, EDEX Sithuwam and EDEX Live Your Dream.
The Presidential Secretariat and Sri Lanka's Ministries of Education, Higher Education, Youth Affairs and Skills Development and Labour and Labour Relations have continuously endorsed EDEX. EDEX has now transformed to be a unique multi faceted organisation sustained by a passionate group of volunteers who contribute their time, effort, professional expertise and even personal finances at times of need, to make a positive difference in Sri Lankan society. Over the years the EDEX annual career fair and exhibition has become the primer career fair in the country and a national event with the primary the exhibition taking place at BMICH, Colombo followed by a secondary exhibition taking place at Kancy City Center, Kandy a few weeks later. It is organized by the Royal College Union (RCU) in collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka.
Roots of EDEX stretch far back to late 1990s, when the Royal College Union started to organise annual career guidance programmes for the benefit of senior students. These seminars revealed a lacklustre attitude among most students and even their parents whose minds were fixed to become doctors, engineers, accountants and lawyers – the kind of professions widely regarded to be the only ‘elite’ ones at the time. Although new lucrative career options were emerging in numerous fields most students were not very keen to consider different options. With limited opportunities of admission to local universities in the preferred fields and in the absence of credible optional career guidance, these youth wasted a great deal of time, effort and money, failing to realize economic and opportunity costs of unfocused and ad hoc career planning.
A need to portray different choices, options and opportunities in post secondary educational arena in the fields of higher education, technical education, vocational training and skills development leading to gainful employment, was thus realised. As it was impossible for a seminar to showcase all such opportunities, EDEX was created as a comprehensive platform for service providers to educate students. It was launched as the pioneering ‘national education and careers expo’ to offer benefits to the entire student and youth population of the country, filling a long felt need for such a national platform. The organizers realized the need for such a national programme to overcome the impact of perennial frustrations among youth that cause widespread and devastating social and economic ramifications. The very first EDEX Expo was held in Colombo in 2004, and continued annually since then. In 2006, a secondary exhibition was introduced in the hill capital Kandy - the second largest city, thus making EDEX Expo the largest national scale twin exhibition in the country.
Growing with participant and visitor numbers year on year, EDEX is now the single largest nationwide platform connecting Sri Lankan youth with choices, options and opportunities in post-secondary, graduate and postgraduate levels, technical and vocational training and skills development, leading to gainful employment.
In 2014, EDEX in collaboration with International Labour Organization (ILO) has launched a national job fair aimed at providing job opportunities for youth. The first EDEX Job Fair will be held at the EDEX Expo 2014.
Initiatives launched by EDEX include;
While focusing on higher education, training and skills development, EDEX noticed the need for sustainable living, mainly across the frontiers of food, water, energy and environment, where the whole world is attempting to find solutions.
EDEX saw the need for sustainable living, preserving natural resources and protecting environment for many more generations. The need to act right now, with the belief that change is possible, was put into motion through the green initiative of EDEX Think Green, striving to educate, activate and engage youth towards sustainable living.
In these processes, there are elements of education, skills development and new job and business opportunities through emerging aspects of green education, green skills and green enterprises. EDEX Think Green reveals these emerging trends empowering the youth to take timely advantage of it.
Skills are not only for careers. Skills mould a person to navigate his or her life as a fulfilled human being. Extending itself beyond career guidance, EDEX launched a nationwide art competition to make complete men and women with a love for nature and humanity, titled EDEX Sithuwam.
The aesthetical arm of EDEX, the EDEX Sithuwam has drawn in wide interest from artistic youth, since its inception in 2009. The exhibition is pivotal in championing many youth from all walks of life to express their thoughts, ideas and feelings in colours, while being empowered with best choices, options and opportunities. EDEX Sithuwam provides an interesting insight into the world of youth, with a window to express their creative thoughts.
Through nearly a decade of direct interaction with youth, specially from rural areas, EDEX noted that Sri Lankan youth and students conceptualize many dream projects that can be of invaluable benefit to communities they belong to, yet do not materialize due to lack of resources, finances and guidance.
EDEX Live Your Dream was launched in 2011 to facilitate such projects that can be achieved with minimal resources, irrespective of location. EDEX Live Your Dream helps aspiring youth and students to realize their educational and skills development related dreams that would benefit local communities, enhancing resources sharing and innovation among youth. EDEX Live Your Dream programme also offers opportunities to corporate citizens and philanthropists to display civic consciousness and social responsibility, together with EDEX.
With many youth in search of jobs for the skills they possess EDEX in collaboration with International Labour Organization (ILO) launched a national job fair aimed at providing job opportunities for youth in 2014. The first EDEX Job Fair will be held at the EDEX Expo 2014.
The career is an individual's metaphorical "journey" through learning, work and other aspects of life. There are a number of ways to define career and the term is used in a variety of ways.
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