‘Students Must Be Realistic about Job Market’

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK If the Namibian economy is to be taken to greater heights, it would be important to focus attention on entrepreneurial skills and areas of Small Medium Enterprise development. This is the view of Leonard Haynes, the CEO of FNB Banking, who last week officially opened the 11th annual Career Fair at the Polytechnic of Namibia. A few hundred students attended the event that runs until the middle of this month. “The Polytechnic of Namibia occupies a very important and strategic position insofar that it is expected to shape thought patterns and mould young scholars and academics to develop and take the country and its economy forward,” said Leonard Haynes at the event that has been sponsored by his bank. According to him, all indications are that the education debate has taken centre stage since the Government’s pledging conference was recently held. “It is evident from the many views expressed and shared that there must be a definite correlation between the demand from the job market and the supply from the education system. I see this institution as a responsible learning one striving towards excellence in education and training,” said Haynes, who challenged the local business sector to employ more graduates from the Polytechnic of Namibia. He also informed the audience that his bank has recently entered into a bilateral agreement with the German Development Services to contribute to the growth of the country’s SME sector. “The aim of the agreement is to enhance SME abilities to run businesses efficiently and to support the transfer of skills and empower formerly disadvantaged Namibians,” Haynes, who alluded to the fact that his bank has recently made available a number of new banking facilities to its customers, said. Recto of the Polytechnic of Namibia, Dr Tjama Tjivikua, in his welcoming speech encouraged students of the Polytechnic in preparing themselves for careers in the job market. “In Namibia we are not as fortunate to have a wide selection of jobs and sources of funding, especially in new jobs driven by technology. Yet, it is up to us to choose the career that we consider most suitable, which may be rewarding or not. If you choose a profession that you love, you will never have to work for the rest of your life because when you engage in your passion, you are at your best to perform naturally and unencumbered,” Dr Tjivikua said. He further warned students that they must remain realistic about the expectations of the Namibian job market. “Getting a proper qualification is no longer a guarantee of employment. A proper qualification, based on skills and competency, is what the job market is looking for. This is why there are a number of openings in the job market while unemployed graduates roam the streets like the uneducated,” Dr Tjivikua, who criticised the job market for not creating enough career opportunities in the niche market of high technology, asserted. “Choosing the right career is as important as choosing the right opportunity, time, employer or employee. I hope you will all make full use of this Career Fair to find out more about jobs that can unleash your full potential. The competition clock is ticking fast,” the rector warned the student audience.

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