The Namibia Training Authority has embarked on a pilot programme for entrepreneurship training, coaching and mentorship for Level 3 trainees, who would like to start-up their businesses and those who already have businesses.
The Namibia Training Authority has embarked on a pilot programme for entrepreneurship training, coaching and mentorship for Level 3 trainees, who would like to start-up their businesses and those who already have businesses.
The NTA’s Standards, Assessment and Certification Council (SACC) approved the registration of five VET institutions, at a meeting on the 26th of January 2016.
The institutions are Anistemi College and Training Centre (Usakos); Institute of Information Technology (Pty) Ltd. (Windhoek & Swakopmund); Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) (Otjiwarongo); Namwater Human Resource Development Centre (Okahandja); and Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy CC (Windhoek).
The institutions offer courses in the field of hospitality, information technology, business administration, manufacturing, mechanical and electrical. Having already gone through the accreditation process of the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA), they meet the quality requirements required of an institution to attain official accreditation status.
At the same meeting, the SACC approved the re-registration of three institutions, namely Adonai College (Windhoek), African Hospitality & Tourism CC (Windhoek) and Wolwedans Foundation Trust (Windhoek).
Another institution, Africa Institutional Management Services (AIMS) (Arandis) also had its training scope expanded with the following qualifications:
National Vocational Certificate in Hospitality & Tourism; (Accommodation Services & Food and Beverage Services) Level 2;
National Vocational Certificate in Hospitality & Tourism (Front Office Operations) Level 3;
National Vocational Certificate in Hospitality & Tourism (Food & Beverage Operations) Level 3; and
National Vocational Certificate in Hospitality & Tourism (Core Commercial Cookery Skills) Level 3.
Manager: Quality Assurance, Ian Gicheru told The Stakeholder that both the NTA and NQA have the interest of quality training entrenched in their mandates. “The training market remains small and we need more training institutions. However, it is very important that institutions meet the registration requirements”, he said.
Gicheru also emphasised that registration is only valid for a number of years, whereafter institutions need to re-apply for re-registration. “It is therefore important that prospective trainees always establish whether an institution is still registered with the NTA, before they enroll, he said. He added that the NTA plans to soon embark on an intensive media campaign to sensitise stakeholders about the importance to enroll at credible training institutions.
The Standards Assessment and Certification Council (SACC), at a meeting held on the 11th January 2017, approved revised unit standards and qualifications for Plumbing and Office Administration, currently registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
The approval was preceded by a series of Technical Working Group (TWG) meetings with industry members and stakeholders, during the review process.
As part of the national stakeholders consultation process, the proposed outcome of the review was posted on the NTA website and adverts were placed in the local newspapers for relevant stakeholders input.
In October 2016, the Mining Industry Skills Committee approved the review of 38 Plumbing unit standards on Level 1 to Level 4,while the Financial and Business Services Industry Skills Committee approved 34 Office Administration unit standards on Level 1 to Level 4. Emerging from the review, the subfield for Plumbing was changed to Civil and Building Services Engineering. Special notes and range statements were also amended to give emphasis and clarity to any terms used in the unit standards.
In Office Administration, new industry terminologies were incorporated into the unit standards, while new competencies were identified and added to the unit standards and qualifications.
Meanwhile, Acting VET Standards Manager, Ruusa Iitula-Hango indicates that her team has kicked off with a range of national consultation sessions in the areas of Hairdressing; Beauty Therapy; Fitter and Turner; and Millwright. “We are focusing on a number of qualifications identified as priorities under the various Sector Skills Plans. My team is working around the clock to ensure that qualifications in these areas are developed and submitted to the NQA for registration on the NQF. Other areas include Instrumentation; Electronics; Auto Mechatronics; Panelbeating and Spraypainting; and Agriculture”, she highlighted.
The NTA’s Board of Directors has approved the establishment of Advisory Committees for all the public Vocational Training Centres (VTCs), under its supervision.
Company Secretary, Tomas Nekongo, said the overarching objective and mandate of the Advisory Committees is to promote efficiency and a service-oriented approach to the management of VTCs. “The VTC Advisory Committees are to provide advice on the strategic direction of the VTC, monitoring the implementation of the Strategic and Business Plans, and reporting progress to the NTA CEO or his/ her delegate. The committees are also to contribute to the implementation of resolutions and instructions of the CEO, particularly on aspects related to the Strategic Plans of VTCs”, Nekongo explained. “Another key role is the development and submission of annual work plans to the Board as well as bi-annual reports on their activities”, he added.
In terms of their responsibilities, the committees will, in accordance with the VET Act of 2008, consider management proposals, provide advice to the management and make recommendations to the CEO on matters relating to the future direction of the VTCs. “Key responsibilities include monitoring the implementation of a VTC’s strategic projects such as physical and programmatic expansion, entrepreneurship programmes and capital projects; advising the VTC on matters related to, or affecting, the quality of training; and monitoring the implementation of the VTC’s annual Business Plan in line with the VTC’s Strategic Plan”, Nekongo explained. “The committees are also responsible for contributing to the development of policies and operational procedures of the VTC and to encourage community and industry participation by facilitating access for VTC trainees to internship and projects”, he concluded.
Committee members are appointed to hold office for a term of three years and are eligible for re-appointment. Although the NTA Board appoints the committees, they are to report to the CEO, who in turn reports to the Board. Members of the committees are to attend an induction workshop in the capital on the 9th and 10th of February 2017. The workshop is aimed at introducing them to the NTA, its operations and key strategic initiatives.
Richwell Lukonga has been appointed as Chief Operations Officer (COO), effective 01 December 2016.
CEO, Jerry Beukes made the announcement at a staff meeting held on 13 December 2016. The COO position has been vacant since February 2015, when Beukes started acting as CEO and was subsequently appointed as CEO in June 2016.
Lukonga has been acting as Chief Operations Officer since February 2015 until his appointment. Lukonga joined NTA in 2010 and has held the positions of Manager: Councils and Committees and General Manager: Operations.
The NTA Board, management and staff wish Lukonga all the best in his new position.
The Council of the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) has approved new National Vocational Certificate (NVC) qualifications in Carpentry and Process Plant Operators for registration on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The qualifications are as follows:
1. General Construction (Level 1) (Carpentry);
2. General Construction (Level 2) (Carpentry);
3. General Construction (Level 3) (Carpentry); and
4. General Construction (Level 4) (Carpentry).
Process Plant Operations
1. Metallurgy (Level 1) Foundation;
2. Metallurgy (Level 2) Operator Attendant;
3. Metallurgy (Level 3) Junior Operator;
4. Metallurgy (Level 3) Operator;
5. Metallurgy (Level 4) Hydro-Metallurgical Processing, Senior Operator;
6. Metallurgy (Level 4) Mineral Processing, Senior Operator; and
7. Metallurgy (Level 4) Pyro-Metallurgical Processing, Senior Operator.
Acting Manager: VET Standards, Ruusa Iitula-Hango, said that the development and registration of these qualifications were supported through the recently-concluded Better Education for Africa’s Rise (BEAR) Project of UNESCO. “The BEAR Project had qualifications development as one of its three main components. In consultation with our industry partners, we focused on the broader construction and mining sectors and developed the qualifications through collaboration with local experts in the two occupations. Colleagues from the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET) assisted us in this regard”, she explained.
Iitula-Hango encouraged local training institutions to access and implement the new qualifications. “The new qualifications create an opportunity for registered training institutions to expand the scope of their training offerings and enroll trainees in these areas. We also hope that with the NTA’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) national assessment rounds that have kicked off in earnest, those who have been working in the fields of Carpentry and Process Plant Operators, but do not possess any qualifications will be able to go through the process and be certified accordingly”, she stressed.
In terms of other qualifications being developed by the VET Standards Division, Iitula-Hango said her team was focusing on a number of qualifications identified as priorities under the various Sector Skills Development Plans. “We are currently busy with development work in the priorities identified by the Industry Skills Committees and our industry stakeholders. These include qualifications for Beauty Therapy; Wholesale and Retail; Instrumentation; Electronics; Millwright; Fitter and Turner; Auto Mechatronics; Panelbeating and Spraypainting; and Agriculture. My team is working around the clock to ensure that qualifications in these areas are developed and submitted to the NQA for registration on the NQF”, she highlighted.
Local trainers need to be equipped with what is required to make the VET sector responsive to national economic, social and political needs. The Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Hon. Dr. Itah Kandjii-Murangi said this at the Okakarara VTC graduation ceremony, staged at the Otjozondjupa town on the 23rd of September 2016.
Dr. Kandjii-Murangi stressed that a range of other factors exacerbated the shortage of competent and skilled trainers, including the low reputation of their profession and the fact that many trainers possess relatively low formal qualifications, severely affecting training delivery at higher qualification levels. “Furthermore, many trainers are inappropriately practically skilled, because of a training system that long emphasised theoretical knowledge, often not aligned with modern technology requirements, and which disregarded the importance of practical skills and appreciation of the world of work”, she highlighted.
The Minister also cited the increasingly multi-functional roles and responsibilities of trainers, which she noted have led to new learning approaches with greater autonomy for trainers for programme decisions and outreach to the world of work. “A wide range of countries now require significant non-academic work experience as part of the certification of trainers, in efforts to break down the divide between VET institutions and workplaces”, she noted.
Dr. Kandjii-Murangi also stressed that youth unemployment and new forms of work organisation were driving a renewed search for balanced skills development that responds more closely to real workplace needs. “This in turn creates a need for closer cooperation between industry, VET institutions, trainers and other stakeholders to come up with strategies through which we can bridge this divide”, she said.
CEO, Jerry Beukes, in a message delivered by General Manager: Information Technology, Tengovandu Kandetu, congratulated the trainees and encouraged them to embrace innovation as they enter the world of work as VET practitioners. “You are the future. You are the ones that carry our country’s aspirations to become an innovative nation. You are the innovators of tomorrow”, he said.
Level 3 certificates were awarded to trainees in the areas of Welding and Fabrication (31); Plumbing and Pipefitting (29); Office Administration (19); Auto Mechanics (24); Hospitality and Tourism (37); Bricklaying and Plastering (19); Hairdressing (13); Carpentry and Joinery (10); and Clothing Production (2).
Fruitful discussions at NTA Village on the 11th of October 2016 between the NTA and the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) of South Africa, may soon result in the formalisation of a partnership agreement between the two entities.
Elaborating on the good work the HWSETA was doing in her country’s health, social development and veterinary sectors, CEO, Yvonne Mbane said her organisation was keen to enter into a mutually beneficial partnership with the NTA. “Partnership with peer organisations in the broader SADC region is important to the HWSETA. Yes, we are eager to share our successes with others, but we equally value that we too can learn important lessons from our peers in neighbouring countries”, Mbane noted.
CEO, Jerry Beukes echoed his counterpart’s sentiments noting that the NTA appreciated the value that can be derived from cooperation with HWSETA. “As a relatively young organisation, the NTA stands to benefit immensely from the experience of a peer organisation such as HWSETA, especially as far as training levy disbursement and job attachment practices are concerned. I am delighted that we soon can formalise a partnership”, he said.
HWSETA endeavours to create an integrated approach to the development and provision of appropriately skilled health and social development workers, to render quality services comparable to world-class standards.
Its broad strategic objectives include the development and implementation of sector skills plan; identification of workplaces for practical work experience; disbursement of training levies collected; forge links and partnerships with stakeholders and relevant bodies; and the promotion of the employment of disabled persons.
The NTA entered into a multi-partner agreement with the Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater), the Roads Contractor Company (RCC) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) towards the delivery of training in the area of Heavy Plant Operator.
The agreement was signed at a media conference at the NamWater Head Office on the 27th of September 2016.
CEO, Jerry Beukes, in a message delivered by Acting COO, Richwell Lukonga, described the agreement as a meaningful step in advancing, strengthening and expanding the VET system to better serve the current and emerging local skills needs, especially in critical occupational areas, where serious shortages are experienced.
“One such skills area needed by industry, especially in the roads, logistics and mining sectors, is that of Heavy Plant Operators. It is an area that requires our immediate focus to grow the numbers of qualified Namibian operators. However, we are hampered in this regard, because currently, there are no registered institutions, offering training in this field”, he explained.
On his part, NamWater CEO, Dr. Vaino Shivute welcomed the agreement, saying it can go a long way in addressing the pressing industry need for skilled Heavy Plant Operators.
“This partnership demonstrates how public institutions and donors can pull together and create synergy. Indeed, it will support us all in alleviating the shortage of qualified Heavy Plant Operators. Namwater is delighted to be partner. This is certainly a step in the right direction”, he remarked.
Through the National Training Fund (NTF), the NTA will allocate N$14.8 million over the next two years for heavy plant, capital works and equipment, towards the total capital requirement of N$21.5 million to start Heavy Plant Operator training at the Namwater HRDC, outside Okahandja.
The NTA will also provide funding for the annual operational costs to train at least twenty Heavy Plant Operator students to NQA Level 3, as guided by the unit costs, which currently stands at about N$60-thousand, per trainee.
The NTA will also support overall implementation in terms of quality assurance; the review of unit standards and qualifications; and assessment and certification services.
NamWater will be responsible for the delivery of Heavy Plant Operator training and provision of all support, technical and training services to successfully deliver the training course, which stand to benefit from the already established infrastructure, administrative and management services at the Namwater HRDC.
In addition, NamWater will invest in the construction of a practical training area (roads and pit), which completion is anticipated by the end of this year.
In turn, the RCC will donate heavy plant equipment, which include machinery deemed critical for training delivery, including a front-end loader, dozer, excavator, tipper truck, backhoe loader and a water trailer. While relatively old, the machinery will also support overall training delivery in other key aspects, especially as far as machinery repairs, is concerned.
The RCC will also avail fully equipped workshop in Windhoek, one qualified diesel-mechanic and one work-hand to execute the necessary repairs on the machinery.
GIZ is to avail funding to ensure training delivery starts in the first quarter of 2017.
The funding will also be used to procure two machines critical to the start-up, namely a Tipper Truck and a Tractor Loader Backhoe (TLB), either refurbished or new.
GIZ is also to provide advisory support services through the ProVET team (e.g. quality assurance, coordination, training provider support etc.), as well as recruit the services of a technical expert for the NamWater HRDC to provide hands-on support towards implementation.
An intake of at least 20 Namibians is anticipated for the three-year training course in March 2017. A second intake will take place once trainees under the first intake are on industry placements. Senior officials from all four organisations are to be appointed to serve on a Joint Heavy Plant Operator Task Team, tasked to ensure the effective implementation of the agreement.
The Namibia Training Authority entered into Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with ten local training institutions at a ceremony held in the capital, on the 9th of August 2016.
The agreements fall into two broad categories, and are to be implemented under the Vocational
Education and Training Levy’s Key Priority Training Grant Funding Window. The first category
involves approved intervention areas for funding as part of demand-led training interventions with
seven local training institutions, totaling N$ 27,876,942.82.
Altogether 901 trainees stand to benefit from these interventions. The institutions are DAPP
Vocational Centre, Namibian College of Open Learning, Phillipi Trust Namibia, Wolwedans
Academy, Business School of Excellence, Triumphant College and Tulipohamba Training
Specific qualifications covered under these agreements include Bricklaying and Plastering (Level 3);
Office Administration (Level 3); Automotive Mechanics (Level 3); Plumbing and Pipefitting (Level
3); Welding and Metal Fabrication (Level 3); Counselling Services (Level 3); Hospitality and
Tourism (Level 2); Wholesale and Retail Distribution (Level 2); Wholesale and Retail Operations
(Level 2); Logistics (Level 5).
The agreements also cover training in other key areas, including Electrical and Electronic
Engineering; Telecommunication Engineering; Construction Engineering; Accounting and Finance;
Marketing; Counseling; Occupational Health and Safety; Healthcare Administration; and
Community Health Education. The second category involves approved intervention areas for
funding as part of support and capacity-building interventions with three local training institutions,
totaling N$ 8,694,210.00.
Institutions benefitting from these agreements include the DAPP Vocational Centre, where the
funding is to support the establishment of production units and innovative approaches to training
delivery and the Community Skills Development Foundation (COSDEF), where the funding is to
be applied towards equipment, minor repairs and renovations to three training centers. It is
anticipated that the support to COSDEF will enable it to meet the accreditation requirements of the Namibia Qualifications Authority for the three centres to be awarded accreditation for programmes up to Level 2.
It also includes support to the Namibian Federation of the Visually Impaired, which is to apply the funding towards ensuring the continuity of its rehabilitation training and service centre, which amongst others offers braille, community-based rehabilitation training, computer training, entrepreneurship development and peer counselling services. CEO, Jerry Beukes, highlighted that the VET Levy’s Key Priority Training Grant Funding Window provided for up to 35% of all monies collected through this programme, to be invested in the
development of skills and capacities in high-demand, in prioritized sectors of our economy. “The services of the beneficiary training institutions were solicited through an open and transparent procurement process, through which accredited training providers were invited, in October 2015, to submit proposals for training in
occupations identified in high demand as listed in the NTA’s National Skills Development Plan for the Vocational Education and Training Sector. These proposals were evaluated against strict
technical criteria aimed at ensuring that trainees benefit from high quality training services”, he explained.
Beukes said the signing of SLAs signified the solid progress in realising the VET Levy as a programme under which our country can sustainably enhance both the quality and quantity of technical and vocational skills provision. “The NTA continues to prioritise demand-led training interventions to the benefit of trainees and
training institution and industry partners, alike. It demonstrates the value we attach to the creation of high quality, equitable and accessible training opportunities for the Namibian people. It shows that while much more still needs to be done to grow more such opportunities and develop our national skills base, we are on the right track”, he noted. On his part, Chairperson of the National Training Fund Council, Patrick Swartz refuted recent media reports that the VET Levy was allegedly being administered from South Africa and commended the NTA for implementing and administering the VET Levy in a sustainable, viable, efficient and effective manner. “Yes, the VET Levy programme has brought about a more stable and sustainable funding regime under which to accelerate the provision of equitable, quality and accessible technical and vocational training services”, he highlighted.
Swartz also stressed the importance of VET in delivering the skills needed for a modernised economy and in countering the disturbingly high levels of youth unemployment. “We need to do more to support the development of local skills as a tool for individual empowerment and national economic development. Going forward, the NTA needs to intensify collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders under the VET Levy programme, especially its industry and training institution stakeholders”, he emphasised.