04 Oct 2016 17:30pm
OSHAKATI, 04 OCT (NAMPA) A total of 588 young people graduated from the National Youth Service (NYS) at the Rietfontein Training Centre on Thursday.
They successfully earned second- and third-level certificates in different vocational trades offered by the institution, situated less than 30 kilometres west of Grootfontein in the Otjozondjupa Region.
Trades include manufacturing, joinery and cabinet-making, hospitality and tourism, plumbing, information and communication technology, hair dressing and automobile engineering.
The NYS is a youth development service institution, established by the National Youth Service Act, Act No. 6 of 2005.
Vice-President Dr Nickey lyambo said during the ceremony that the infrastructure of a country is not build by people in white collar jobs, but by artisans who went through vocational training such as the ones provided at the NYS.
Most of the skills needed to compete in the global market of the 21st century are technical skills resorting in the vocational area, he noted.
Iyambo noted that with sufficient Government support, vocational education and training (VET) can increase Namibia's productivity and competitiveness, therefore the presence of a large pool of skilled human resources will fuel growth of economic activities, increase income, and reduce unemployment as well as widespread poverty.
He stated that VET does not only contribute to the eradication of unemployment but also contributes to crime reduction, social cohesion and the socio-economic mainstreaming of disadvantaged groups.
Three students were honoured for exceptional performances during their two to three-year training courses.
Lazarus Amutenya was acknowledged as the best student in bricklaying and plastering; Maria Utoni as the best student in office administration, and Thomas Mwiikeni as the best joiner and cabinet-making student.
The graduation ceremony coincided with the inauguration of the new NYS main campus, which is phase one of two phases.
The NYS said phase one of the construction was funded by the Chinese Government through an interest free loan amounting to N.dollars 100 million, while the construction of phase two is expected to commence in early 2017 and will be constructed by the same government through a grant.
Once completed, the new facilities will be able to accommodate close to 800 students.
The event was attended by parents of the graduates, several Cabinet Ministers, regional and local authority councillors, including Otjozondjupa Regional Governor Otto Ipinge.