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Empowering Sri Lanka's Hospitality Sector: Browns Hotels & Resorts Honored Inaugural Graduates from its FutureKey Program

Browns Hotels & Resorts (BHR), the renowned hospitality chain, proudly marked a momentous occasion as it celebrated the remarkable success of its pioneering venture, the FutureKey Program. This groundbreaking initiative, designed to nurture and empower young talent in the Sri Lankan ‘hospitality industry, held its inaugural awarding ceremony on the 26th of July at Park Premier, Excel World.

Gathering momentum with a cohort of 85 enthusiastic students, the FutureKey Craft-Level Program drew participants from all nine of BHR's exquisite properties strategically situated across Sri Lanka. Among these premier establishments were Club Hotel Dolphin, The Calm Resort and Spa, Hotel Sigiriya, Thaala Bentota Resort, Dickwella Resort, Reveal Boutique Collection, Excel World Colombo and associate hotels; Occidental Eden Beruwala and Occidental Paradise Dambulla. During the ceremony, each student received well-deserved program certificates, gifts and an evening of delightful memories and jubilation in honor of their accomplishments.

Distinguished guests and key industry figures, including Eksath Wijeratne, Chief Executive Officer of Browns Hotels and Resorts, H. S. Harischandra, Vice Chairman of the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), Nilantha De Silva, Director of Training at NAITA and Pradeep Uluwaduge, Chief Human Resource Officer of LOLC Group graced the event.

Eksath Wijeratne, CEO of Browns Hotels & Resorts, expressed his elation at the graduation ceremony of the FutureKey Program."We founded FutureKey to be a novel initiative to address the current dearth of skilled professionals in the Sri Lankan hospitality industry. Through this program, we aim to empower local communities and nurture a new generation of capable individuals who will not only thrive in their careers, but also contribute to elevating the standards of the entire hospitality landscape in Sri Lanka. We believe wholeheartedly in the potential of our students and encourage them to embrace this opportunity with unwavering passion, turning each day into a journey of continuous learning and boundless innovation."

The FutureKey Program took its first step on the 21st of March 2022 by enrolling fresh school leavers selected from local communities for a three-month intensive program where the young learners were provided with the necessary tools, guidance and exposure to various departments, including housekeeping, kitchen, front office, food and beverage and administration. The students underwent a comprehensive curriculum with 30% theory and 70% practical training, complemented by soft skills development and familiarization tours to broaden their horizons by the industry professionals at BHR.

Suranga Wewagedara, Manager of Human Resources at Browns Hotels & Resorts, spoke with pride about the program's impact, "At the heart of the FutureKey initiative lies the vision to offer a transformative experience to young learners precisely when both the community and the hospitality industry need it the most. Notably, 30% of our graduates have been embraced into our hotels, channeling their talents into the fields they excel in, thereby carving a promising path for their future."

Browns Hotels & Resorts, operating as the leisure arm of the LOLC Group, the country's most profitably diversified multinational conglomerate, has invested in the Sri Lankan leisure industry since 2009. With its expansion to the Maldives and Mauritius, the LOLC Group is set to become one of the largest leisure property owners in these markets. With a portfolio of exceptional hotels across Sri Lanka, the resort establishments under Browns Hotels & Resorts are dedicated to ensuring guests' comfort and convenience.