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.