The Ministry of Higher Education has indicated that the process of amending the Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) Act so that the ownership is vested in government is nearing completion.
Minister of Higher Education Dr Itah Kandji-Murangi says the finalisation of the NIMT Trust Deed is at an advanced stage. The Trust Deed, she noted, has been revised through extensive consultations between the respective boards of the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) and NIMT.
“It is currently with the NIMT Board for signature by the trustees, whereafter it is to be submitted to the Master of the High Court for registration,” she recently revealed.
NIMT is a technical vocational training institute in Arandis, established in 1991. It offers courses in mining, manufacturing and engineering. New Era recently reported that some firms are reluctant to take in NIMT trainees for practical job experience, making it difficult for apprentices to complete their studies with the desired skills and practical knowledge.
Eugene Bingham, the principal of the NIMT branch in Keetmanshoop, has called on companies to come on board and open their doors to students to improve the students’ skills in the various trades they specialise in. He noted that although trainees need to be trained theoretically, as well as practically, to be fully qualified and ready for the job market, companies are not willing to grant them a chance to gain practical experience.
“Due to the economic climate we are in and other factors, companies are taking fewer and fewer trainees,” he said. Bingham acknowledged that despite the fact the industry is small and cannot accommodate all trainees, there are companies that are helping trainees get job attachment placements, but the majority are less helpful.
He expressed frustration over the fact that the institution’s attempts to secure places for Level One trainees are often in vain, as companies are circumspect about taking them on due to their lack of expertise: “Placing Level One trainees is a big problem, because people say they know nothing, but we must all start somewhere.”
With the current trainees mostly derived from the northern parts of Namibia, Bingham also urged southern youth to wake up and grab the opportunities to study at institutions, like NIMT, that are on their doorsteps.
He explained that most trainees are government-funded, but the funds do not cater for accommodation and, therefore, youth from nearby places should take school seriously and get into the system, as they will not have headaches over accommodation.
NIMT at Keetmanshoop currently accommodates about 282 trainees in five different trades, with the next intake due in March.