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 firstname.lastname@example.org . Our NCE partners can be reached at 061 245 711, or email@example.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