The Namibia Youth Development Organisation (NYDO) recently hosted a conference aimed at helping Namibian students from various tertiary institutions find internship and employment opportunities with local companies.
NYDO aims to promote full and effective participation of the Namibian youth in decision making and developmental activities and plans to assist more students in preparing for the work industry.
Explaining the importance of internship, NYDO President Kotokeni Shimbindja said it is a way of equipping students with experience in their respective fields of study to create a competent work force in the country. He added that it is not only lack of employment opportunities that is a problem to students, but experience plays a major role.
“Even though these students get their degrees or diplomas, experience still is crucial for them to have in order to get a job because 90 percent of vacancies require experience, according to the research on formal employment vacancies. This means that experience is often the leading requirement of a vacancy,” says Shimbindja.
Shimbindja adds that the role of the youth in society is very broad, but young people must ensure that they are able to change their lives for the better and innovate in society. “We live in a changing world that is also very competitive. It is now up to our country as a nation to invest our time and resources into our youth. The students taking up these internships are our future employees and most importantly our future leaders,” he says.
Jordan Johannes, a student at the Polytechnic of Namibia, applauded the concept and is grateful to those who are part of the initiative. “This means a lot to us students, because internship is a requirement for some of us in order to graduate. I urge other companies to come on board and support this initiative and at least provide us with a little allowance while working. A company will not lose anything from offering internships, because it benefits both parties.” says Johannes.
Young entrepreneur Michael Amushelelo agrees that internships are important, but should not lead to a culture of dependency. He adds that with the knowledge young people gain at school, training can help them venture into small businesses and thus, instead of being job-seekers, young people can become self-reliant entrepreneurs. “Taking responsibility for our own lives is the culture we should adopt,” Amushelelo says.
So far the organisation is working with 15 companies and has secured 80 internships for students at various partners since October last year. NYDO also has a Facebook page where internship-seekers are updated about available opportunities.
NYDO is a national youth organisation registered with the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture and is appealing to the general public and private companies to join and support this development initiative.