One needs to consider a few other aspects locked up in the mandate of the NTA.
First of all, what is Vocational Education and Training? It refers to those training interventions which aim to equip people with knowledge, know-how, skills and/or competencies required in particular occupations, or more broadly on the labour market. And it is Vocational Education and Training, which the Namibia Training Authority has been entrusted to regulate.
The NTA does so by ensuring that training programmes and services meet emerging and future industry and business needs.
The move towards a nationally consistent environment of VET regulation has long been a policy goal of the Namibian government and it came to fruition through the promulgation of the Vocational Education and Training Act, Act 1 of 2008.
The NTA needs to regulate the VET sector to ensure national standards are met and to assure the quality of qualifications and skills issued by registered training organisations.
Yes, indeed we are referee and player.
It is not an ideal situation, but the NTA acts in the context it finds itself in. At its establishment, the NTA inherited the former state-owned Vocational Training Centers, which were run by the Ministry of Education.
The VET Act tasks us to lead these centers to semi-autonomy through a process of transformation. In the interim, we provide them with the necessary leadership and management support.
The Namibia Qualifications Authority is involved in the promotion of quality education and training in Namibia through the development and management of a comprehensive and flexible National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
In turn, the NQA promotes quality through the registration of education and training providers in Namibia and their courses.
Furthermore, the NQA’s legislative obligations also involve setting up occupational standards for any occupation or job in any career structure and setting the curriculum standards for achieving such occupational standards.
One of the major innovations set out in the VET Act was the mandate for the NTA to establish Industry Skills Committees as standing committees of its Board. These committees comprise senior people from industry.
The aim of the ISCs is to help us develop a Vocational Education and Training system, which is driven by the needs of industry. They advise the Board on all matters relating to the needs of the industry sectors for which they are responsible.
They are also tasked with providing the NTA with industry intelligence on current and future skills requirements and overseeing the work of the NTA in developing competence-based training aligned to such needs. Furthermore, the ISCs also oversee that training providers provide training programmes to the quality standards, which the industries require.
In Namibia, there is a serious under-provision of demand-led training opportunities, which is constraining key aspects of economic growth.
Within this context, it is necessary to introduce specific interventions such as a levy scheme to supplement and fund the development and establishment of applicable systems and processes, to ensure that demand-led training is available to meet the needs of the employed, the unemployed and the disadvantaged.
We anticipate that the implementation of the National Training Fund and associated Training Levy scheme will support and drive the growth of the VET sector. The rationale is simple. Mobilising additional resources means that the quality and quantity of skills development can be accomplished, that skills shortages constraining enterprise development can be reduced, and productivity and incomes and/or profits can be enhanced.
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