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.