Local trainers need to be equipped with what is required to make the VET sector responsive to national economic, social and political needs. The Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Hon. Dr. Itah Kandjii-Murangi said this at the Okakarara VTC graduation ceremony, staged at the Otjozondjupa town on the 23rd of September 2016.
Dr. Kandjii-Murangi stressed that a range of other factors exacerbated the shortage of competent and skilled trainers, including the low reputation of their profession and the fact that many trainers possess relatively low formal qualifications, severely affecting training delivery at higher qualification levels. “Furthermore, many trainers are inappropriately practically skilled, because of a training system that long emphasised theoretical knowledge, often not aligned with modern technology requirements, and which disregarded the importance of practical skills and appreciation of the world of work”, she highlighted.
The Minister also cited the increasingly multi-functional roles and responsibilities of trainers, which she noted have led to new learning approaches with greater autonomy for trainers for programme decisions and outreach to the world of work. “A wide range of countries now require significant non-academic work experience as part of the certification of trainers, in efforts to break down the divide between VET institutions and workplaces”, she noted.
Dr. Kandjii-Murangi also stressed that youth unemployment and new forms of work organisation were driving a renewed search for balanced skills development that responds more closely to real workplace needs. “This in turn creates a need for closer cooperation between industry, VET institutions, trainers and other stakeholders to come up with strategies through which we can bridge this divide”, she said.
CEO, Jerry Beukes, in a message delivered by General Manager: Information Technology, Tengovandu Kandetu, congratulated the trainees and encouraged them to embrace innovation as they enter the world of work as VET practitioners. “You are the future. You are the ones that carry our country’s aspirations to become an innovative nation. You are the innovators of tomorrow”, he said.
Level 3 certificates were awarded to trainees in the areas of Welding and Fabrication (31); Plumbing and Pipefitting (29); Office Administration (19); Auto Mechanics (24); Hospitality and Tourism (37); Bricklaying and Plastering (19); Hairdressing (13); Carpentry and Joinery (10); and Clothing Production (2).