Youth Drive Targets Minorities

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By John Ekongo

WINDHOEK

Preferential treatment will be given to San, Ovahimba, Ovazemba and other minority groups in the planned grand recruitment drive and intake programme mooted by the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture.

New recruits are being sought for the National Youth Service (NYS) Scheme for this year and these minority groups will be recruited from the areas in which they reside.

With a substantive budgetary boost of N$32 million for the 2007/2008 financial year and the acquisition of Rietfontein Farm for N$4 million dollars to complement Berg Aukas, a further 500 Namibian youths aged 18 to 30 would be absorbed by NYS from all the thirteen regions and constituencies throughout the country.

Announcing the recruitment drive this week, the Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, John Mutorwa, said the primary role of the scheme is to provide skills transfer and personal development to young people not fortunate enough to have found employment or further education in other setups.

The groundwork for recruitment processes has been done, with the board members expected to engage all regional councils in the country to assist them with identifying young people suitable for the scheme
The process was expected to start yesterday, to last well into April.

Trainees will be admitted and recruited to the service after satisfying specific laid down recruitment criteria.

Youths are eligible for recruitment if they are citizens of Namibia and the recruitment must not be done on a discriminatory basis, but the board may determine different criteria for admission to the various activities undertaken by the service.

Mutorwa added that programme and training skills offered via the scheme would serve to complement, reinforce and enrich the already offered programmes offered by the education ministry.

The former principal appealed to the various sub-governmental divisions in the regions and education authorities to assist the NYS and the board on their drive to recruit young people for training.

Said Mutorwa: “I am appealing to and kindly requesting the governors and other regional councillors in the thirteen regions and 107 constituencies of our country, as well as the education authorities at regional, constituency and school level, if and when so requested and required, to assist the NYS board and management through your good offices to ensure that the national task is carried out.”

He said that communities and youth must come out to reap the benefits, and should not lie idle and criticize Government that some communities are marginalized, whilst opportunities are being availed to them.

Although the scheme is entirely voluntary, its benefits are boundless, stressed both Mutorwa and NYS Commissioner Onesmus Upindi.

The idea after recruitment is for the youth to become self-employed or job ready for absorption in the labour market, civil service and tertiary education centres.

The National Youth Service was originally established in 1999 as an alternate job creation scheme designed for thousands of school leavers who did not qualify for further study or any other form of formal schooling offered by the educational sector.

The purpose of the non-mandatory NYS is to provide skills training to young people outside of the formal education system.

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