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Posted by: In: News 06 Oct 2015 Comments: 0

06 October 2015

Employees in the bargaining unit at the NTA Head Office and the Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) under its supervision are to embark on industrial action on Wednesday, 07 October 2015, after salary negotiations with the two recognised labour unions, the Namibia Public Workers’ Union (NAPWU) and the Namibia National Teachers’ Union of Namibia (NANTU), deadlocked.

The NTA wishes to clarify its stance with regard to this matter:

1. Prior to the commencement of salary negotiations for the 2015/16 financial year, the NTA had conducted a market remuneration survey. Pursuant to this, revised pay scales were approved and the Total-Cost-To-Company (TCTC) remuneration packages of 117 out of 370 employees in the bargaining unit were adjusted to align to the market. The adjustments took effect on 01 April 2015.
2. Annual salary negotiations with the two unions started towards the end of March 2015, and four meetings took place up to mid-June, but no agreement could be reached.
3. The matter was escalated to the Office of the Labour Commissioner, where a formal dispute was registered on 15 June 2015. Subsequent conciliation did not result in any agreement. The NTA offered a 7.5% TCTC increase for employees in the bargaining unit, whereas the unions demanded a 10% TCTC increase plus a monthly Transport Allowance of N$660, which effectively translates into a 13.2% TCTC increase.
4. The Office of the Labour Commissioner issued a Certificate of Unresolved Dispute on 22 September 2015, which paved the way for industrial action.
5. When the parties reconvened with the Conciliator on 01 October 2015, the NTA re-confirmed its offer of a 7.5% TCTC increase, coupled with commitments to investigate the viability of introducing a separate grading system for all VTC trainers, as well as establishing a joint task team to conduct benchmarking and make recommendations based on best practice to the NTA Board, in terms of options pertaining to the TCTC remuneration model.
6. On 05 October 2015, the unions, in line with Section 74 (1) of the Labour Act of 2007, gave the NTA notice that they were to embark on industrial action as soon as the required 48 hours’ notice period expired.
7. The offer of 7.5% TCTC, by the NTA is 2.5% above the average inflation rate for the previous financial year that ended March 2015, and compares favourably with increases granted by employers in the broader education and training sector, and beyond.
8. The NTA would like to emphasise that funds collected through the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Levy cannot be applied in supporting its salary bill. As per Notice No. 5, published under the Vocational Education and Training Act, Act 1 of 2008 in Government Gazette No. 5395 of 27 January 2014, VET Levy funds are ring-fenced and can only be used as prescribed therein.
9. The NTA wishes to inform stakeholders about the following key arrangements which have been necessitated by the industrial action:
o Training at the VTCs is suspended as from Wednesday, 07 October 2015 and trainees are to return home for the duration of the industrial action;
o Similarly, no assessment services will be rendered by the NTA as from Wednesday, 07 October 2015 at assessment centres countrywide for the duration of the industrial action.
10. The NTA has put in place various contingency measures within the confines of the law, to ensure that other key services continue, albeit on a reduced level. The NTA wishes to apologise for any inconvenience in this regard and appeals to stakeholders affected by the industrial action to remain patient during this period.
11. Finally, the NTA wishes to reassure stakeholders that it has has done everything in its powers to avert industrial action and that it remains committed to ongoing efforts to resolve the impasse.

Jerry Beukes
Acting Chief Executive Officer

Posted by: In: News 06 Oct 2015 Comments: 0

06 October 2015

Employees in the bargaining unit at the NTA Head Office and the Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) under its supervision are to embark on industrial action on Wednesday, Read More

Posted by: In: News 16 Sep 2015 Comments: 0

Namibia continues to be hampered by a scarcity of skilled labour. This was said by the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Training Authority, Jerry Beukes, at a ceremony held at the NamWater Human Resource Development Centre outside Okahandja on the 25th of August, where technical training equipment valued at about 725-thousand Namibia dollars, was handed over to the centre’s management.
“Our country continues to face a big challenge in expanding access to technical and vocational skills training to increase employment opportunities. It is a significant challenge, because all of this must be achieved, whilst ensuring that technical and vocational training remains equitable, relevant and of good quality”, Beukes stressed.
The donation forms part of the Namibian Chapter of the ‘Better Education for Africa’s Rise’ (BEAR) Project, which is a joint initiative between the United Nations Scientific, Education and Cultural Organisation, (UNESCO) and the Republic of Korea. BEAR chapters have been established in four other Member States in the Southern Africa Development Community, SADC, namely the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Malawi and Zambia. The overall objective is to design and implement specific country objectives aimed at improving local responsiveness and relevance of vocational education systems to individual and labour market needs. More specifically, the local BEAR Project is aimed at developing training programmes in the Mining and Construction sector, through revised and updated training curricula, increasing the number of trained instructors, and enhancing capacities to deliver quality training.

Beukes also thanked the Vice-President of the Korean Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET), Dr. Jin Mi-Sug, for her organisation’s assistance under this innovative project. As part of the BEAR Project, South Korea’s Global Institute For Transfer of Skills (GIFTS) also supported Namibia’s maiden participation at the WorldSkills International competition, which took place in São Paulo, Brazil from the 11th to the 16th of August. Three of Namibia’s four competitors attended a month-long training session in South Korea before the competition. GIFTS is also to support the NTA in the staging of Namibia’s first National Skills Competition in 2016.

The Chairperson of NamWater’s Board, Ester Akwaake, received the donation which included lathes, mortising machines, electric sanders, spindle moulders, saws, drawing boards and wood planing equipment. It also includes the installation of a dust extraction system in the centre’s joinery workshop.

Posted by: In: News 16 Sep 2015 Comments: 0

Namibia continues to be hampered by a scarcity of skilled labour. Read More

Posted by: In: News 16 Sep 2015 Comments: 0

Namibia made a proud and memorable debut at the 2015 WorldSkills Competition, which took place in São Paulo, Brazil, from the 11th to the 16th of August 2015.

Although the four Namibian competitors, Rakel Amutenya (Bricklaying), Joseph Nakatumbe (Joinery), Fanuel Mathias (Electrical General) and Erkana Imene (Plumbing and Pipeheating) did not finish amongst the medal winners, they gave a good account of themselves and demonstrated that the skill level of Namibian Vocational Education and Training trainees is indeed on par with the rest of the world. Imene’s score of 453 out of 500 points bagged him the ‘Best of Nation’ Award as the best Namibian contestant. He is enrolled at the Rundu Vocational Training Centre. The United Kingdom’s Gary Doyle and Germany’s Nathanael Liebergeld won gold in this category.

On her part, Amutenya, finished with a score of 417 out of 500 points. Amutentya, a trainee at the NamWater Human Resources Development Centre attracted a lot of international media attention as one of only two female competitors in the Bricklaying category. Italy’s Florian Hochgruber landed the gold medal in this category.

Nakatumbe’s final score in the Joinery category was 445 out of 500. He is enrolled at the Namibia Institute for Mining and Technology (NIMT). Si Shueh Hyi from Chinese Tapei was the gold medal winner in this category.
Namibia’s competitor in the Electrical Installations category, Fanuel Mathias, amassed 449 out of 500 points. He is a trainee at the NamPower Training Centre. Brazil’s Junior Carlos won gold in this category. WorldSkills Namibia Technical Delegate, Sens Shoolongo also received a special recognition award for his excellent work as Jury President in the Electronics category.

NTA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Jerry Beukes, thanked the Namibian nation at large for their support to the team. “Our maiden participation in WorldSkills International has indeed been a proud and historical moment for the local technical and vocational training fraternity, and our country as a whole. Our team has done us proud. Not only did they showcase their technical and professional skills to a worldwide audience, but they’ve focused on honing the skills they need for the workplace”, he emphasised.

Host nation, Brazil’s impressive medal haul saw it crowned the overall winners. Namibia is not the only country that could not win a medal, as many established economic powerhouses, such as Russia and India also fell short. The United States of America could only land a single bronze medal.

WorldSkills International (WSI) is an international skills competition for youth that is held in a different member country every two years. Competitors from 17 to 22 years old demonstrate their excellence in a number of different skilled trades and technology contest areas. The competitions raise awareness about technical and vocational professions to encourage youth to explore such training and career opportunities. Altogether 1189 competitors from 59 countries took part in the 43rd WorldSkills Competition in São Paulo, Brazil.

Posted by: In: News 16 Sep 2015 Comments: 0

Namibia made a proud and memorable debut at the 2015 WorldSkills Competition Read More

Posted by: In: News 16 Sep 2015 Comments: 0

The Okakarara Vocational Training Centre were crowned overall champions after scooping gold in both the Ladies Soccer and Ladies Volleyball codes at the 2015 VTC Games, which took place at the Romanus Kampungu School Stadium at Rundu in Kavango-East in mid-August.

Valombola VTC took second place while Zambezi VTC finished third overall. Hosts, Rundu VTC disappointed in front of their home crowd and only managed gold in the Netball code. Zambezi VTC won gold in the Men’s Volleyball code, Zambezi VTC, while Valombola VTC finished in second place. Windhoek VTC scooped up the bronze medals in the category. Valombola VTC were crowned champions in the Men’s Soccer code, with Eenhana VTC and Okakarara VTC finishing second and third, respectively. Eenhana VTC also took second place in the Ladies Soccer category, while hosts Rundu VTC came third.

Spectators turned out in good numbers to support their teams and were wowed by the performance of soccer player, Caroline Kaitjizemine from Okakarara VTC who scored eight goals over the course of the tournament. Local scouts also predicted a bright future for the Rundu local, Mangundu Kutesa who played his heart out and finished the tournament with four goals to his name. Teams competed on a round-robin basis in all codes, with the top two teams in each code contesting the finals. The games took place under the theme, ‘Sport Adds to Healthy Lifestyles’ and were aimed at encouraging all technical and vocational institutions to incorporate sports into education. Teams from the National Youth Service (NYS) joined the seven VTCs under the NTA’s supervision at this year’s event.

The Chairperson of the VTC Sports Union, Kosmas Petrus told The Stakeholder that the tournament was a huge success. “We appreciate the support of the NTA. With the continued support, sport at our VTCs can only grow from strength to strength”, he said. However, he encouraged the private sector to join in and to consider requests to sponsor the event favourably. “Our requests for sponsorships seem to have fallen on deaf ears up to this point, but we remain confident that we will soon be able to sign up a big sponsor who will be willing to invest in this annual event and to support the VTC Sport Union in steering sport at our centres to greater heights”, he added.

Petrus also thanked the hosts, Rundu VTC, under the leadership of Centre Manager, Erkki Tjandja for the excellent work in hosting the event. “The people from Rundu and Kavango-East received us well. We thank them for their support and hospitality”, Petrus noted.

The VTC Sport Union is to consider proposals from the various VTCs at its next meeting and will then take a decision as to who the hosts for next year’s competition would be. Windhoek VTC hosted the event last year, while Okakarara VTC played hosts in 2014.

Posted by: In: News 22 Jul 2015 Comments: 0

Three competitors, who have been entered to compete at the 2015 WorldSkills Competition, scheduled to take place in São Paulo, Brazil, in August, have left for South Korea to prepare for the bi-annual event. They are Rakel Kagwedha Ndinowike Amutenya (Bricklaying); Joseph Nghidipohamba Nakatumbe (Carpentry & Joinery); and Erkana Imene (Plumbing and Pipeheating).
Amutenya is the only female team member and is a trainee at the NamWater Human Resources Development Centre outside Okahandja. Nakatumbe is enrolled at the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT), whereas Imene is a trainee at the Rundu Vocational Training Centre. Amutenya, Nakatumbe and Imene are to attend an intensive training preparation session with members of the South Korean team, while Mathias (Electrical Installations), who is a trainee at the NamPower Training Centre, has just returned from a similar training session with an experienced South African training institution, in that country.

In his sending-off message to the competitors, who are accompanied by skills experts in each of these disciplines, NTA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Jerry Beukes, called on Namibians from all walks of life to rally behind the team. “Our maiden participation in WorldSkills International is indeed a proud and historical moment, not only for the local technical and vocational training fraternity, but for our country as a whole. As such, these young Namibians deserve our full support”, he emphasised. Beukes also encouraged the competitors to serve as true ambassadors for their country. “Go to South Korea with a consciousness of teamwork and togetherness. Give your trainers your full support and cooperation. Be disciplined, responsible, passionate, committed and dedicated”, he emphasised. Beukes also acknowledged UNESCO, through its Better Education for Africa’s Rise (BEAR) Project, for financial and technical support being rendered towards the competitors’ preparations in South Korea and South Africa.

WorldSkills International (WSI) is an international skills competition, held in a different member country every two years. Competitors from 17 to 22 years old demonstrate their excellence in a number of different skilled trades and technology contest areas. It will be the first time for a Namibian team to participate at this prestigious event. The 43rd WorldSkills Competition will take place at Anhembi Parque, São Paulo, Brazil, from 11 to 16 August 2015.

Posted by: In: News 22 Jul 2015 Comments: 0

Three competitors, who have been entered to compete at the 2015 WorldSkills Competition, scheduled to take place in São Paulo, Brazil, in August, have left for South Korea Read More

Posted by: In: News 22 Jul 2015 Comments: 0

The NTA’s Standards Assessment and Certification Council (SACC) recently approved the registration and/or expansion of scope of seven local training institutions.

The newly registered institutions are African Leadership Institute; Eenhana Vocational Training Centre; Okakarara Vocational Training Centre; International Training College Lingua; and the DAPP Vocational Training School. Currently registered institutions whose applications for the expansion of training scopes were approved are the Institute of Open Learning for its Keetmanshoop, Walvis Bay, Ongwediva, Rundu and Katima Mulilo branches and Monitronic Success College for its Otjiwarongo, Ondangwa and Walvis Bay branches.

The NTA’s Quality Assurance Manager, Ian Gicheru (photo) told The Stakeholder that he was delighted with the new additions to the list of registered training institutions and encouraged the respective centre leadership teams to do their utmost in ensuring that quality training standards are maintained in all their course offerings. “As training institutions, they need to appreciate that managing quality becomes fundamental to all training activities and programmes. As such, they should also appreciate that if quality is ensured in all their training activities, it should result in their trainees graduating from their institutions being valued and appreciated by the labour market as competent, skilled and fit-for-purpose”, he explained.

According to Gicheru, high quality training remains at the heart of the Regulations for the Registration of VET Providers. “In as much as the regulations empower the NTA to protect and safeguard Namibians against sometimes unscrupulous entities wanting to make a quick buck under the guise of so-called recognised courses, our national VET system sets clear expectations for registered training organisations to take responsibility for the quality of their programmes and services. We deem the enforcement of the regulations as an integral part of our continuous quality improvement drive under a shared vision in which all stakeholders will value our organisation as our country’s true port of call for vocational skills, because they will have full confidence in the quality of Vocational Education and Training outcomes delivered by registered Namibian training organisations”, he stressed.

He encourages all non-registered training institutions to visit the Quality Assurance Division and learn more about the registration regulations, key registration requirements and timeframes.