More vocational educators by 2020: Kugongelwa-Amadhila

15 Sep 2016 08:40am
WINDHOEK, 15 SEP (NAMPA) – In an effort to diversify the Namibian economy and enhance the skills of the workforce, Government intends increasing the number of vocational education trainers from the estimated 15 000 in 2015 to 25 000 by 2020.
This is in response to the negative perception of vocational education as less prestigious and less rewarding than academic educational careers.
Speaking during the opening of the 2016 National Skills Competition and Exposition here on Tuesday, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said this perception negatively affects the diversification of the domestic workforce, which in turn prolongs the realisation of the social and economic goals of the country.
“In its current form, the system is perceived negatively with poor articulation with labour market demands and contributing sub-optimally towards our socio-economic development needs.”
As such, she said, policies pertaining to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) should be implemented to address both the formal and informal needs of the sector such as human capacity, demand of skills, educators and employment gaps.
“I am a staunch supporter of TVET as a means to refocus our education and training system towards the fulfilment of our social and economic aspirations and to bring about a more diversified, knowledge-based economy.”
The premier also noted that TVET can play a dynamic role in addressing many socio-economic challenges such as underemployment, poverty, deprivation and unemployment particularly amongst the youth.
“Technical and vocational skills are vital to make inroads on poverty reduction, economic recovery and sustainable development.”
She said TVET not only promotes cultural diversity and ensures the transmission of knowledge and skills, but goes as far as fostering human centred development, whilst creating flexible career pathways.
As such, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said refunds to private companies that train employees for vocational educational will also be enhanced.
WorldSkills, an international organisation that promotes skills development through events and competitions, collaborated with the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) to stage the inaugural competition to promote technical and vocational skills across the country.
Over 118 participants will take part in the NSC representing various courses such as plumbing, welding, bricklaying, cooking and joinery amongst others.
The competition runs from 14 until 17 September at the Ramatex Complex in Windhoek.