The European Union (EU) delegation to Namibia and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) are scheduled to sign an agreement today for the GIZ to implement a co-funded project, to which the EU contributes N$130 million.
The German government is already engaged in supporting vocational education and training (VET) in Namibia through the Promotion of Vocational Education and Training (ProVET) Project to a total value of N$200 million.
ProVET supports the National Training Authority (NTA) to advance vocational education and training in Namibia, with the objective of ensuring that industry demand for vocational qualifications in selected sectors is increasingly covered.
ProVET operates on a national level and supports the development of key elements of the VET system, e.g. the training of trainers. Furthermore, ProVET is involved in the piloting of a number of qualifications at various training centres across the country.
The EU delegation and GIZ say the overall objective is to contribute to a well-educated and skilled society in Namibia that plays an active role in the social and economic development of the country, as well as to respond to the skills demand that exists in the market.
The project foresees the establishment of a training hub, comprising three vocational training centres under the auspices of the National Training Authority (NTA), the national body for regulating vocational education and training in Namibia.
The NTA is tasked with the responsibility of establishing an efficient, effective and sustainable VET system, aligned with the current and future skills needs of the labour market. The lack of adequate skills has been identified as a major obstacle to business development and growth for small, medium and large firms in Namibia.
Hence, the NTA seeks to ensure access, equity and quality in VET within the country. The three selected vocational training centres, Nakayale, Eenhana and Valombola, are all located in northern Namibia in the most densely populated region of the country.
The hub is to serve as a platform for these three centres to meet, to share information and to engage in joint planning, professional development and resource sharing. By doing this it is envisaged they will be able to better provide the region with the required skills to meet stakeholders’ requirements.
The programme has a timeframe of 45 months, as from July 1 and includes a range of enabling measures, including the establishment of a model for private sector engagement, enhanced management and trainer capacity, the introduction of demand-oriented VET qualifications and short courses, as well as strategic procurement of equipment, building works and e-learning facilities, with the purpose to enhance job opportunities and career development.
The establishment of the hub is thus linked with the VET expansion programme, a core component of NTA’s current strategic plan.
The EU-GIZ joint action will have a regional focus, but it is expected the lessons learned at regional level will be scaled up to national level. The training hub will complement GIZ’s ProVET project and is aligned with the NTA’s strategic initiatives.
A large proportion of the EU’s assistance to Namibia is geared towards improving the quality of and access to VET. This is in support of Namibia’s policies and strategies like NDP 4, Vision 2030 and the recently launched Harambee Prosperity Plan.
The goal of these national planning frameworks is to enhance and enlarge industry-relevant skills and competencies countrywide and thereby lay the foundations for sustainable and inclusive economic development.