The inaugural National Skills Competition and Exposition is to take place at the Ramatex Complex from the 14th to the 17th of September, this year.
Acting CEO, Jerry Beukes made the announcement at a media conference in the capital on Thursday, 19 May 2016.
Beukes highlighted the importance of the event as a key deliverable under the Namibian Government’s Harambee Prosperity Plan, which advocates for the staging of a “National Vocational Education and Training (VET) skills competition bi-annually, to promote VET as an education subsector of choice.
“It is also a deliverable under the NTA’s rolling five-year Strategic Plan to support the promotion of technical and vocational career paths amongst young Namibians, and to challenge societal perception under which such career paths are stigmatised as low-status options, with limited prospects for career advancement” he noted.
The event has two main components: A National Skills Competition, which is to serve as a platform from which to select Namibia’s competitors to represent the country at the next WorldSkills International (WSI) competition; and an exposition, in which credible and accredited local and international technical and vocational training institutions are going to participate and share information about their institutions and course offerings to young Namibians, wishing to embark on career paths within the VET sector.
The competition is open to all public and private training institutions and industry sectors. While the scope of occupational skill areas is expected to increase at future competitions, only the following 10 (ten) occupational skill areas will be staged at the inaugural competition. This is a strategic decision to keep the inaugural competition manageable to allow for a meaningful evaluation and to inform the development of a sustainable national skills competition framework.
The areas are Automotive Technology; Bricklaying; Carpentry; Cooking; Electrical Installation; Joinery; Plumbing and Heating; Refrigeration and Airconditioning; Wall and Floor Tiling; and Welding.
The National Skills Competition is to be preceded by a series of regional selection competitions at various training institutions from 27 to 28 May 2016 to select competitors to participate at the National Skills Competition. Only eligible competitors who meet age and other technical requirements as stipulated in the WorldSkills International (WSI) competition rules will be considered for representing the country at the next WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi, in 2017.
Namibia, through the NTA, is a member of WSI, which is a non-political organisation that promotes skills excellence through the staging of bi-annual international skills competitions and establishing networking and sharing platforms for members to learn from and with each other. The bi-annual competitions also provide a means of exchange and comparison of competency standards in the industrial trades and service sectors of the global economy.
Beukes also highlighted that the NTA intended use the platform to give further impetus to current efforts to promote technical and vocational careers amongst young Namibians.
“The strategic policy rationale behind the exhibition component of this event is clear – Young Namibians need to make decisions about their future careers in a well-informed and well-thought-through way, linked to their interests, their capacities and their aspirations. As such, the exposition component is aimed at 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; and in countering negative societal perceptions and stereotypes stigmatising technical and vocational training as last-choice education”, he said.
He added that the NTA expected to bring together under a single umbrella credible public and private VET providers, corporate entities and other industry stakeholders to partner it in the promotion of technical and vocational careers.
Beukes also encouraged eligible competitors and training institutions to register for participation. Application forms and detailed information can be accessible on the NTA website: www.nta.com.na or obtained upon request from the WorldSkills Namibia Secretariat at 061-2078 580. Alternatively, information can be collected from the NTA Head Office (NTA Village, Rand Street – Khomasdal) or from the nearest public Vocational Training Centre.