01 Feb 2014 15:30pm
WINDHOEK, 01 FEB (NAMPA) The Namibian Employers Federation (NEF) has raised concerns about the reclaiming process of the new training levy that will come into effect in April this year.
The Vocational Education and Training Act of 2008 provides for the imposing of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) levy on employers in general or specific categories to facilitate and encourage vocational education and training.
The VET levy requires affected employers to make a monthly contribution to the Namibia Training Authoritys National Training Fund (NTF), which will apply such funds towards training Namibians in key national priority training and occupation areas.
Registration for the levy, which is payable by every eligible employer with an annual payroll of N.dollars 1 million or more as per Section 35 of the VET Act, commenced on Monday and ends on 27 February 2014.
NEF Secretary-General Tim Parkhouse in a media statement issued on Friday raised the alarm on the cash-flow implications on companies which are already engaged in training.
We are concerned at the cash-flow implications on companies who are engaged in training, and remember that there are some companies already investing heavily in training. They will now have to pay the one per cent levy upfront and will only be able to claim back their 50 per cent after one year. We would have liked this to have been effective after a maximum of six months, perhaps even every four months, he said.
Parkhouse said the NEF is also concerned about the restrictiveness of the reclaimable expenses, as only Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) registered courses will be allowed.
There are a vast number of short courses being offered which are all aiding the development of vocational workers in the country, he said.
He said the NEF hopes that this can be reviewed once the operation of the levy collection is running. A survey carried out by the NEF during 2012 indicated that 83 per cent of the respondents asked for short courses to be allowed for reclaiming.
Generally, it is vital that the NTA is able to re-distribute the funds collected reasonably quickly, while maintaining the required controls, and not allow a massive reserve to build up for whatever reason, the statement read.
Every eligible employer with an annual payroll of N.dollars 1 million or more will have to contribute one per cent to the NTA.
The NEF however requested that the levy be reduced to 0.5 per cent instead of the current one per cent.
On a more positive note, Parkhouse called on employers to accept the levy and to see it as a medium to long-term investment in the country.
The federation also encouraged employers to continue all the training they previously offered their workers.