Namibia continues to be hampered by a scarcity of skilled labour. This was said by the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Training Authority, Jerry Beukes, at a ceremony held at the NamWater Human Resource Development Centre outside Okahandja on the 25th of August, where technical training equipment valued at about 725-thousand Namibia dollars, was handed over to the centre’s management.
“Our country continues to face a big challenge in expanding access to technical and vocational skills training to increase employment opportunities. It is a significant challenge, because all of this must be achieved, whilst ensuring that technical and vocational training remains equitable, relevant and of good quality”, Beukes stressed.
The donation forms part of the Namibian Chapter of the ‘Better Education for Africa’s Rise’ (BEAR) Project, which is a joint initiative between the United Nations Scientific, Education and Cultural Organisation, (UNESCO) and the Republic of Korea. BEAR chapters have been established in four other Member States in the Southern Africa Development Community, SADC, namely the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Malawi and Zambia. The overall objective is to design and implement specific country objectives aimed at improving local responsiveness and relevance of vocational education systems to individual and labour market needs. More specifically, the local BEAR Project is aimed at developing training programmes in the Mining and Construction sector, through revised and updated training curricula, increasing the number of trained instructors, and enhancing capacities to deliver quality training.
Beukes also thanked the Vice-President of the Korean Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET), Dr. Jin Mi-Sug, for her organisation’s assistance under this innovative project. As part of the BEAR Project, South Korea’s Global Institute For Transfer of Skills (GIFTS) also supported Namibia’s maiden participation at the WorldSkills International competition, which took place in São Paulo, Brazil from the 11th to the 16th of August. Three of Namibia’s four competitors attended a month-long training session in South Korea before the competition. GIFTS is also to support the NTA in the staging of Namibia’s first National Skills Competition in 2016.
The Chairperson of NamWater’s Board, Ester Akwaake, received the donation which included lathes, mortising machines, electric sanders, spindle moulders, saws, drawing boards and wood planing equipment. It also includes the installation of a dust extraction system in the centre’s joinery workshop.