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

16 March 2015

The month of April promises to be a busy month for the NTA’s National Training Fund Department as it braces itself for about two-thousand-200 Employer Training Grant claims to be submitted by VET Levy registered employers, over this period.

However, National Training Fund General Manager, Joseph Mukendwa (photo) is confident that all the required systems and processes are in place to ensure a smooth submission, processing and disbursement process. Under the Employer Training Grant Funding Window, registered employers can claim back, on production of valid evidence, up to 50 percent of the levies they have paid for actual costs of training conducted.

Mukendwa said his department was to embark upon a nationwide sensitisation campaign later this month to share information on the claims process with registered employers. “Three teams are going to be dispatched to those locations where we have significant numbers of registered employers and we encourage our VET Levy-paying companies to attend these sessions”, he noted. “It is of utmost importance that they familiarise themselves with the requirements and the processes to be followed so as to ensure that their claims are processed efficiently”, he added.

Claims can be submitted for training programmes delivered in-company or externally and should reach the NTA within 31 days after the end of the financial year, which is from the 1st of April to the 1st of May, every year.

Employers who do not submit claims risk forfeiting grants, unless otherwise agreed by the NTA. All unclaimed grants are to be transferred to the Key Priority Grant Funding Window towards other training interventions, as approved by the NTA Board of Directors. Employers are to complete and submit claims online through the NTA’s corporate website, www.nta.com.na

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

01 March 2015

Exhibitors and visitors alike have described the 2015 Skills Expo that took place at the Ramatex Textile Factory premises from the 25th to the 27th of February, as a huge success.

The event had as an objective the establishment of an annual platform from which to promote technical and vocational careers. It brought together more than 30 exhibitors, mostly registered and accredited training institutions, some as far as South Africa and Botswana, who used the Skills Expo as a platform to introduce their course offerings to prospective trainees. All seven vocational training centres under the NTA’s supervision participated, whereas in excess of five-thousand learners, some from schools as far as Karibib and Gobabis, attended.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony, NTA Chief Operations Officer, Jerry Beukes emphasised the importance of informing Namibian learners about the wide array of technical and vocational career options. “If young people make decisions about their future careers in a well-informed way, linked to their interests, their capacities and their aspirations, our investment in education and training is likely to yield higher returns”, he stressed.

On his part, Khomas Education Director, Gerard Vries, who officiated at the opening ceremony in the stead of the Education Minister, Dr. David Namwandi, underscored the Government’s commitment in growing the numbers of young and qualified Vocational Education and Training practitioners, our country so desperately needs. “We are hampered in this regard by the fact that too many Namibian learners still seem not to give any consideration to technical and vocational career opportunities. This situation is exacerbated by societal perceptions that stigmatise such career options as ‘dirty’, ‘low-paying’ and ‘low-status’, that offer little, if any, opportunity for personal advancement and growth”, he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (merSETA), Dr Raymond Patel and his Chief Operations Officer, Wayne Adams, also visited the Skills Expo. Patel said he was not only impressed with the overall organisation of the event, but encouraged by the interest in technical and vocational careers demonstrated by Namibian schools. Patel, whose organisation runs a very intensive countrywide vocational career advocacy campaign in South Africa, also encouraged the NTA to tap into the merSETA network and invite reputable South African training institutions to participate in future events.

The KAYEC Trust won the award for the best exhibitor.

Posted by: In: News 20 Jan 2015 Comments: 0

16 December 2014

Another three of the formerly state-owned Vocational Training Centres (VTCs), now under the NTA’s supervision, have been granted official accreditation status by the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA).

They are Nakayale VTC (Outapi), Okakarara VTC and Eenhana VTC. The NTA’s General Manager: Operations, Richwell Lukonga (photo), describes it as a major achievement, saying it aligned well with expectations under the Vocational Education and Training Act of 2008, which tasks the NTA to support and lead the VTCs towards becoming autonomous training institutions.

“The NTA, through its VTC Transformation Division and its Quality Assurance Division, has put in a lot of hard work into supporting the VTCs and getting their training infrastructure and the quality of their course offerings to acceptable levels, as required by industry. It has not been easy, but we are now beginning to see the fruits of our labour. Our hard work is starting to pay off”, Lukonga stressed.

He now calls on industry partners to team up with the centres in the establishment of attachment partnerships. “Many employers have been reluctant in partnering the VTCs and taking in trainees for job attachment, before. They need not be concerned anymore. The fact that these centres are now fully accredited, should give them peace of mind”, Lukonga stressed.

Lukonga also thanked the respective VTC management teams for their hard work and dedication “The commitment and perseverance of our VTC managers and staff played a big role in this milestone achievement. Their hard work and dedication made all of this possible”, he lauded.

Two other VTCs – Rundu VTC and Zambezi VTC (Katima Mulilo) – were also accredited by the NQA, earlier this year.

Posted by: In: News 20 Jan 2015 Comments: 0

18 December 2014

The Namibia Training Authority today entered into an agreement with Namibia Careers Expo (NCE) towards the staging and organization of the National Skills Expo, which is scheduled to take place at the Ramatex Textile Factory Complex in the capital, from the 25th to the 27th of February 2014.

The organisation of the National Skills Expo is a key deliverable under the NTA’s current Business Plan. It is also aligned with the organisation’s strategic goal to engage our stakeholders and to promote and market Vocational Education and Training as a viable career path amongst young Namibians.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Chief Operations Officer Jerry Beukes, said the event was aimed at bringing together under a single umbrella, credible public and private Vocational Education and Training providers, corporate entities and other industry stakeholders to partner us in the promotion of technical and vocational careers.

“We invitate schools and encourage them to allow their technically-inclined learners to attend, for them to enjoy access to information about technical and vocational career options. We encourage all Vocational Education and Training institutions currently registered with the NTA to participate and introduce their course offerings and training services to visitors. This includes all the Vocational Training Centres (VTCs), under the NTA’s supervision”, Beukes explained.

Beukes also invited those industry roleplayers and employers who rely heavily on technical and vocational skills to come on board and register as exhibitors. “I encourage you to join us and to focus on interactive onsite simulation activities and offer demonstrations to visitors on what you do, how you do it and why you do it”, he emphasised.

On his part, Chairperson of Namibia Careers Expo, Jason Kasuto highlighted his company’s wealth of experience in the organisation of events of this nature, having staged the biggest local career fair for the past six years. “It makes business sense for us to partner with the NTA and allow it to tap into our progressive knowledge, experience and networks in the organization of career promotion events”, Kasuto stated.

Namibia Careers Expo has reached in excess of 16 000 Grade 10 – 12 learners through its premier annual event since 2009.

The National Skills Expo forms part of the NTA’s ‘Live Your Passion’ media campaign, which has been broadly aimed at creating awareness about the various VET career options available in the local and regional market, and to encourage learners to consider such options, when making career decisions.

The NTA has implemented this media campaign over the past three years, during which period we have also been an active participant at several career fairs and promotion events, countrywide. To this end, we have established and maintained excellent partnerships with the various regional education directorates, under the Ministry of Education.

Interested parties can contact PR and Marketing Officer, Roberta da Costa at 061-2078521, or rdacosta@nta.com.na . Our NCE partners can be reached at 061 245 711, or helenangaifiwa@gmail.com The registration form can be downloaded from our website through the following link – http://www.nta.com.na/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2015-Skills-Expo-Exhibitors-Registration-Form-Pack.pdf

Posted by: In: News 20 Jan 2015 Comments: 0

21 December 2014

The NTA is making headway in the organisation and staging of a national Vocational Education and Training career fair, as a key deliverable under its current Business Plan. The activity ties in with the strategic goal to promote and market Vocational Education and Training as a viable career path amongst young Namibians.

The Manager: PR, Marketing and Stakeholder Engagement, Mornay Louw (photo) sheds more light on the event:

Q: What is the main objective behind the National Vocational Education and Training Career Fair?
A: We anticipate that the event, which is to be known as the National Skills Expo, will support the NTA in bringing together on a shared platform, public and private registered training providers, corporate entities and other industry stakeholders to partner the NTA in the promotion of technical and vocational careers. Not only does it align well with our current “Live your Passion” advocacy campaign, but we also hope that through the expo, we will establish another platform from which to counter perceptions stigmatising VET as “last choice education” and fighting stereotypes profiling VET practitioners as inferior”.

Q: Any other objectives?
A: Yes, a number of them. We want to generate institutional experience in the staging of an event of such a magnitude and lay the groundwork for the staging of Namibia’s first national skills competition. We also want to support equal opportunities and promote social inclusion by raising the aspirations of disadvantaged groups and support them in gaining access to opportunities that might otherwise have been denied to them.
Another important objective is to widen the net beyond what is traditionally considered the VET cohort (learners who have failed Grade 10 and 12, early school leavers, unemployed youth).

Q: What makes the Skills Expo different from other career fairs on offer?
A: VET career fairs differ from ‘ordinary’ career fairs insofar that the latter focus more on a document approach where teams engage visitors to stalls and hand out brochures, flyers, application forms and prospectus documents. In contrast, VET career fairs place significant emphasis on having actual job practitioners on site and creating opportunities where visitors can directly engage professionals and practitioners and gain first-hand knowledge about the various career options. Other typical activities include on-site demonstrations and simulation activities.
The National Skills Expo is to adopt the same concept, which has already proven very successful internationally. It is indeed the same concept being applied by World Skills International affiliate countries, when staging regional and national skills competitions.

Q: In your opinion, how can the staging of the National Skills Expo contribute to the overall objectives of the NTA?
A: The rationale behind the aforementioned activity, as formulated in our Business Plan, is clear: Improving the efficiency of the national training system and managing its interface with the labour market.

If individuals make decisions about what they are to learn in a well-informed and well- thought-through way, linked to their interests, their capacities and their aspirations, investments in education and training systems are likely to yield higher returns.
Staging the National Skills Expo can also support equal opportunities and promoting social inclusion through raising the aspirations of disadvantaged groups and supporting them in gaining access to opportunities that might otherwise have been denied to them. It can also go a long way in profiling the NTA and the VET sector at large, as important enablers in the development of skills required for the economic development of our country. The event can create positive brand awareness for the NTA through profiling the organisation as a responsible, efficient and effective custodian of the VET sector.

Q: The NTA is to partner with Namibia Careers Expo in the staging of the National Skills Expo. Tell us more about your partnership?

A: ‘Namibia Careers Expo’ has organised the biggest local annual career fair for the past six years. NCE also has strong networks with corporate entities, sponsors and exhibitors and indeed key partnerships with local and regional training institutions. They also have key logistical links with support service providers such as transport, staging, lighting, sound, security, cleaning services, amenities, catering and on-site event management support.

Under its advertising and marketing arm, NCE is also going to take the lead in creating awareness about the event amongst exhibitors and visitors. Indeed, the track record of Namibia Careers Expo, having reached in excess of 16 000 Grade 10 – 12 learners through its premier annual event since 2009, makes it a key strategic partner to assist the NTA in the successful organisation and staging of the National VET Career Fair. It just makes business sense for the NTA to partner with this entity and tap into its progressive knowledge, experience and networks in the organisation and staging of career events.

Q: When is the event going to take place? Who can interested exhibitors contact?
A: We have secured the Ramatex Textile factory as a venue, where the event is to take place from the 25th to the 28th of February 2015. Interested parties can contact PR and Marketing Officer, Roberta da Costa at 061-2078521, or rdacosta@nta.com.na . Our NCE partners can be reached at 061 245 711, or helenangaifiwa@gmail.com The registration form can be downloaded from our website through the following link – http://www.nta.com.na/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2015-Skills-Expo-Exhibitors-Registration-Form-Pack.pdf

Posted by: In: News 12 Nov 2014 Comments: 0

17 October 2014

Over ninety representatives of industry, community organisations and private and public training providers gathered at NTA Village on Thursday, 17th October, to receive a report from TEN (Pty) Ltd on the review of competency-based education and training [CBET] in the VET system in Namibia. This meeting was one of a series conducted at major centres across the nation.

Earlier this year TEN (Pty) Ltd, a Namibian education and training consultancy company, was appointed by the NTA to review the status of CBET implementation in the VET sector, identify the factors inhibiting CBET implementation and produce a proposal for a reformed model and implementation plan for CBET that best fits the VET system in Namibia.

TEN (Pty) Ltd has met with stakeholders across the country and has produced a detailed Issues and Options Paper that sets out the key factors impacting on CBET and a series of proposals for reforming the current arrangements.

While proposing important reforms, such as decentralising the assessment system, the introduction of compulsory job attachment for trainees and the inclusion of technical, occupationally specific Mathematics, Science and English in all VET qualifications, the consultants argued that there is no compelling reason for a major shift in direction in relation to CBET, especially regarding the use of unit standards-based qualifications, the promotion of Recognition of Prior Learning and the development of qualifications pathways that provide multiple entry and exit points for learners.

According to the Consultant, Rob Stowell (photo), the reformed CBET model, which was discussed at the workshop, incorporates all of the features of a modern competency based training system, is clearly aligned with the National Qualifications Framework and takes into account the reforms that have recently been announced to Basic Education. Once implemented the reformed CBET model should ensure that more Namibian have access to high quality, industry supported vocational education and training.

Copies of the Issues and Options Paper, which includes a draft version of the reformed CBET model, and the presentation provided by TEN (Pty) Ltd are available on the following websites: www.nta.com.na and www.ten-namibia.org

Posted by: In: News 07 Oct 2014 Comments: 0

06 October 2014
The Namibia Training Authority, in partnership with the Promotion of Vocational Education and Training (ProVET) Project, is soon to embark on a round of intensive national consultations to solicit the input of industry stakeholders into a range of newly developed qualifications and their constituent unit standards.

Some of the occupational areas in which draft unit standards have been developed, include:
• Diesel and Earthmoving Equipment Mechanic, (Level I, II, and III),
• Safety Officer (Level I, II, III and IV),
• Water & Sanitation Technician (Level I, II, III, and IV) and
• Fire & Rescue Operator (Level I, II, III and IV)

The unit standards have been developed with the respective industries under the facilitation of the ProVET project, applying the Competency-Based Education & Training (CBET) approach.

ProVET Coordinator, Alfeas Shindi (photo), encourages individuals and organisations from the respective industries, or prospective training providers to study and comment on the new qualifications and unit standards. “We will make available the draft unit standards on the NTA’s corporate website for our stakeholders to peruse and to validate by making use of a feedback form which will also be available on the website”, he stressed.

Representatives of the NTA and ProVET are to facilitate the national consultation sessions. Exact dates and venues will be announced in the print media and on the NTA website, in due course.

Posted by: In: News 07 Oct 2014 Comments: 0

The Namibia Training Authority, in partnership with the Promotion of Vocational Education and Training (ProVET) Project. Read More

Posted by: In: News 02 Sep 2014 Comments: 0

The Namibia Training Authority’s Board of Directors, at a media conference held at NTA Village today, responded to allegations and inaccurate information
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Posted by: In: News 02 Sep 2014 Comments: 0

18 August 2014

The Namibia Training Authority’s Board of Directors, at a media conference held at NTA Village today, responded to allegations and inaccurate information contained in a report published in local daily, The Namibian, under the headline “NTA ‘offers’ to pay off former boss”.

Below the full statement issued by the Board of Directors and signed by the Chairperson, Otto.N. Shikongo and Deputy Chairperson, Hilya Nghiwete.

Objective: To brief stakeholders on the position of the NTA Board of Directors in relation to allegations published in local daily, The Namibian, on 08 August 2014.

1. After considering the findings of a forensic investigation by Ernst & Young at the NTA in 2012, the Board of Directors decided to take applicable action and commenced disciplinary proceedings against the CEO, Mrs Maria Nangolo-Rukoro. The Board as such resolved to suspend her, with full pay, effective February 2013, on charges as were issued to her. This decision was taken in line with the mandate of the Board and in the interest of the organisation and the Namibian nation at large
2. The disciplinary hearing commenced on 17 April 2013.
3. In line with the objectives of Namibia’s labour regime to endeavor to resolve disputes between employer and employee internally, BOTH parties, through their respective representatives, agreed on 05 August 2014, to attempt and see whether they could agree on a resolution of the dispute.
4. The arrangement made on 05 August 2014 was due to, inter alia, but not limited to the magnitude of the charges; high legal and related costs for both parties related to the number of hearing days (approximately 22 days to date); and the possibility that the disciplinary proceedings might take another eight to ten months to be concluded. 
The disciplinary proceedings are expected to take that long due to numerous witnesses still to testify to test the findings of the Ernst & Young forensic investigation report, as well as the availability of such witnesses (of whom a significant number are not employed by the NTA) and the respective parties’ representatives.
5. The matter not proceeding on Wednesday, 06 August 2014 was based on a joint decision by both parties’ representatives, as it was anticipated that any discussion along the line of settlement, as well as any decisions reached pursuant thereto, would take a substantial period of time.
6. No ruling was ever made that the Ernst & Young report was declared invalid; that key evidence was thrown out; and that the report was ‘downgraded’ in any manner.
7. No offer to pay out the CEO’s remuneration for the remainder of her contract term, or any other monetary offer, was ever discussed, or made, NEITHER during the week of 4-8 August 2014, NOR previously, by the NTA and/or its Board.
8. On 06 August 2014, the CEO, through her representatives, proposed for the upliftment of her suspension, which proposal was rejected categorically, by the Board.
9. On the request of the CEO’s representatives, months earlier, the matter did not continue on 04 August 2014, as the CEO’s counsel was engaged in a different matter.
10. The expiry of the term of the current Board would not influence the disciplinary process at all. All Board members expected to testify have indicated their willingness to do so, even after the expiry of their terms.
11. The NTA intends to proceed with the disciplinary process against the CEO.
12. The NTA board is considering its options in respect of the newspaper and the reporter who published damaging, inaccurate and baseless information.