Namibia’s Net skills demand reaches 3385
A survey conducted by the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) has revealed that the highest net demand for skills in 2015 is at 3385 in the Craft and Related Trade Workers category.
This came after the NTA adopted a strategy under which Sector Skills Plans are being developed for all the key economic sectors, including the manufacturing sector, to identify skills in demand for these sectors/industries.
NTA Manager of Public Relations, Marketing & Stakeholder Engagement, Mornay Louw, said the NTA Board has approved a number of training interventions in the manufacturing sector as one of the fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) Priority Areas.
Louw added that this will be funded in the interim through the Vocational Education Training (VET) Levy’s Key Priority Training Grants, saying, training is being procured at present for these priority categories as identified by the Industrial Skills Commission (ISC) including Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in selected categorical areas.
The survey was also conducted for a predicted period of over five years, where the net demand for the Craft and Related Trade Workers is expected to have grown to 4970 by the year 2020.
In the Craft and Related Trade Workers category, the different occupations that fall under it are Air conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic, Motor Mechanic, Diesel Mechanic, Panel Beater, Spray Painter and Fitter amongst others.
Louw noted that skills are very important for any industry as there would be a lack of growth if the skills to drive this industry are inadequate.
“The NTA, through its mandate, is hence contributing to the different economic sectors by identifying and addressing the skills shortages in each sector through the different interventions,” said Louw.
In the Professional Category sector, the net demand in 2015 is 615 and by the 2020 predicted period, the net demand is expected to grow to 1060.
The Professional Category sector includes Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Production / Operations Manager amongst others.
The highest net demand in 2015 is a 100 in the Production/Operations Manager, Human Resources Manager and the Financial Manager occupations.
The survey showed that in the Technicians and Associate Professionals or the Semi-Professionals, the net demand in 2015 is 1465 whereas in the next five years (2020) the demand is expected to increase to 2600.
Instrumentation Mechanician, Mechatronics Technician, Electrical Engineering Technician, Mechanical Engineering Technician, Categorical Health and Safety Officer and a Diamond Cutter all fall under the Semi-Professionals category.
However, the survey showed that the Plant Machine Operators, Assemblers category had the lowest net demand in 2015 of 500 altogether and by 2020 it is expected to be at 800. The occupations that fall under this category are Machine Operator and Truck Driver.
Louw noted that the manufacturing sector is comprised of various sub-sectors, adding that the priority-training interventions are Panel beating & Spray-painting, Electrician General, Welders, Boilermakers and Coded Welders and Bakers, saying additional priority categories are being identified based on the Sector Skills Plan.
“It is noteworthy to mention that the NTA is constantly trying to align the training offered in the VET sector through its engagement with the Industry Skills Committees (ISC). The ISCs are responsible for, amongst others, the gathering of sector specific information and intelligence in ensuring that skills programmes are aligned to the needs of industry,” said Louw.
He added that the NTA is implementing a number of interventions such as Procuring training from accredited local training institutions in accordance with approved key priority areas, Procuring training from accredited training institutions in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) states where training cannot be procured in Namibia, Adopt and adapt readily available Unit Standards and Qualifications for Panel beating and Spray-painting to accelerate implementation.