As part of strategic interventions under the Key Priority Grant funding window of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Levy, the NTA has identified apprenticeship training as one such a key intervention for funding. Apprenticeship training requires an apprentice to acquire the skills for an occupation in a company, while learning and working side-by-side with an experienced Artisan/Technician/ Supervisor. In addition, the Apprentice learns occupational related theory at a registered training institution to complement on-the-job training in the workplace. Apprenticeship is a time-honored way of training for a trade or profession. Instead of completing an educational program and then taking an entry-level job, an apprentice begins work from the start of the programme, earning money as the apprentice builds skills through supervised training and classroom theoretical education. Many people enter an apprenticeship as a way of learning new job skills while being able to draw a salary and avoid the high cost of traditional technical and vocational training programmes.

Eligible employers are encouraged to join the NTA’s apprenticeship drive. The employer must be approved by the NTA to recruit apprentices and should have the capacity to deliver the training programme/s applied for, in terms of tools and equipment, machinery and qualified mentors; possess an understanding of the qualification/occupation applied for; and have an established relationship with a registered/accredited training institution.

The application form can be downloaded through the link below.All applications and certified copies of supporting documentation should be hand-delivered to the NTA’s Head Office’s in Rand Street, Khomasdal, Windhoek and should be clearly marked ‘Apprenticeship Training’.

Employer Apprenticeship Participation Application Form

Other considerations include:
• An Apprentice shall be employed by a company, registered for Social Security Commission (SSC) benefits and shall sign an apprenticeship contract setting out the conditions of employment and training for the duration of apprenticeship.
• An apprentice shall receive a monthly allowance of not less than the NTA-regulated minimum amount.
• Apprenticeship training must be based on a qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
• Theoretical training must be conducted by a registered and/ or accredited training institution.
• Assessments must be conducted at registered and/or accredited training institutions, assessment centers or approved workplaces.
• The training provider should assist the employer to draw up the training schedule on a 70:30 ratio/9 months: 3 months basis.

Participation in this programme can be broken up into four key phases:

Stage 1: Application & Key Considerations
An eligible employer will submit an application as per a prescribed application template form to the NTA’s Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Division. Before completing an application, an employer should consider the following:
• Those occupations in which apprentices will be required, in relation to the human resource development plan of the company.
• The machinery, tools and equipment required to support learning in the workplace and whether mentors are available at an acceptable ratio.
• The available accredited/registered training institution who has the capacity to train apprentices as per agreed training costs and training schedule/s.
• Compliance certificate of factory registration/fitness certificate from the Municipality, SSC and company registration.
• Qualified Mentors with relevant qualifications and experience (Artisan Level 3 and 3 years relevant experience).

Stage 2: Work Approval
All employers with potential to participate in the Apprenticeship programme should first receive approval from the NTA. Before granting approval, the NTA must be satisfied that the prospective employer meet the requirements of the qualification.

Stage 3: Funding Agreement
The employer and the NTA signs the Memorandum of Agreement for funding. The NTA through the VET Levy subsidises employers with a training grant towards the training cost and the apprentice’s monthly allowance.

Stage 4: Recruitment and Training
The employer should ensure the selection and recruitment process is fair and transparent. Once finalised, the employer, the apprentice and the training institution shall sign a tripartite agreement for training to start. The NTA and all the parties will monitor and evaluate the progress of learning. The employer has an obligation to prepare existing staff with respect to receiving new apprentices and ensure that apprentices have an opportunity to rotate through various workstations within the organisation, relevant to the qualification. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), tools, machinery and equipment should be available to perform relevant skill assignments.

The NTA will avail an incentive grant to employers who hire apprentices under this programme. The funding for apprentices is derived from the Key Priority Grant (KPG) funding window of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Levy. The grant covers a total amount of N$ 30,000 per apprentice per year that is allocated to pay the trainee a minimum monthly allowance of N$2500.00 per month. Employers may add to this amount if their current remuneration policy allows such an addition. The amount of N$2500.00 per month is based on a Ministry of Labour and National Union of Namibian Workers and the Construction Industry Federation gazetted agreement where over 14 occupations were allocated minimum hourly rates for semi-skilled workers. The average of these rates equated to approximately N$ 15.00 per hour.

Apprentices will be paid each month irrespective of whether they are in the workplace or at the training institution. The remaining amount will be used by the employer to pay all other expenditure, including the training costs to the training provider.
While the NTA accepts that training costs vary across different sectors, it is also recognised that training costs arise at different areas of training, where that might be as tools and equipment, or solely for training fees. For this reason, employers are reminded to negotiate the best deal with training providers, while understanding what services are covered under the training fees. Employers are informed that the amount allocated is for a full financial year, including cases of extension of training.

In line with requirements for submission of Employer Training Grants, VET Levy paying employers may submit as part of their applications excess incentives provided to the apprentices. These costs will not be claimed as additional costs, but as part of a maximum of 50% of the levy the employer have paid. To maintain the grant as an attractive incentive, while limiting the NTA’s risk of disbursing funds too quickly, the funding is disbursed in four tranches, namely:

  • 1st Tranche: 25% paid when the employer recruits the apprentices and signs the apprenticeship agreement with the apprentice and the training provider.
  • 2nd Tranche: 25% paid when the apprentice has completed 3 months’ probation to the satisfaction of the employer and training provider.
  • 3rd Tranche: 40% paid when the apprentice has completed approximately 60% of the training in that year and according to an adequately completed logbook with positive reports from the training provider. This payment is scheduled with some flexibility on a case by case basis given that many training programmes have very varied training schedules.
  • 4th Tranche: 10% paid when the trainee has received a certificate, pass, for this level. Apprentices who fail to complete on the first attempt will be allowed repeat attempts but will do so at the cost of the employer or the apprentice or both by mutual agreement.

Assessment: Under the Competency-Based Education and Training (CBET) system, trainees are assessed during the course to check competencies are achieved and to address areas where the trainee may be falling behind. These assessments are called ‘formative assessments’. When the course is complete, the trainee signs a ‘readiness form’ and then undergoes ‘summative assessment’ to ensure that they have become fully competent in each unit standard of the taught level. Generally, apprentices have less time in a training institution and more time in the work place than a full-time trainee but will still be assessed ‘summatively’ in the same way as full-time trainees.

Logbook: Depending on the arrangement made between the training institution and the employer, not all unit standards, especially those of a practical and repetitive nature, will be taught at the training institution. Therefore, the complete and concise completion of the logbook becomes very important, since the NTA Assessment Division will now check the record of formative assessment performance at the training institution and the logbook to ensure that the Apprentice has received adequate experience in certain practical unit standards to be considered competent. The logbook, therefore, becomes a portfolio of evidence (POE) that supports the record of formative assessment in precipitating the commencement of the summative assessment. If a logbook is unfilled, or the Apprentice has not rotated sufficiently around the workplace to gain adequate competencies, then the NTA will refuse the Apprentice to proceed to summative assessment. The NTA has consulted with many logbook users and designed a simplified logbook template that acts as a daily diary, a weekly check list and a monthly appraisal of the apprentice’s current performance. Each logbook will be supplied with the course unit standards or modules printed at the front to guide the apprentice’s exposure. The logbook is not supposed to be an administrative burden on the mentors and this is one reason why the ratio of apprentices to mentors is kept quite low, so that one mentor does not have to check 10 logbooks and eventually falls behind on the task.

Representatives of the NTA’s Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Division visit venues countrywide to share information about the Apprenticeship Programme and its objectives with prospective employers and training institutions interested in participating in this initiative.

Enquiries can be directed to telephone number, 061 – 2078 151, during office hours.

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