Keetmanshoop-The WK Rover Hall at Keetmanshoop was brimming with smiles and joy as about 141 people received their certificates in various trades this week.
They were all quickly reminded of the harsh reality awaiting them, with Women’s Action for Development (WAD) executive director Salatiel Shinedima telling the graduates that attaining a qualification is just the start of the long road ahead.
He told the WAD graduates on Thursday that although earning their certificates of qualification could translate into a brighter future, they should be cautious and understand that this marks only the beginning of a journey towards finding employment.
“I would like to advise you to humble yourselves at all times and do not aim for high-paying jobs before you acquire adequate on-the-job experience,” he said.
Shinedima advised the graduates that their focus as they begin their search for job opportunities should be on getting the necessary experience to complement their certificates, rather than looking at the income they will make, saying remuneration should be secondary to acquiring experience.
He explained that employers are looking for employees who are qualified and experienced, and thus graduates should be humble and take any jobs available to acquire the needed experience, even if they are not remunerated.
He further reminded the graduates that they are not the only ones searching for jobs, as there are unemployed graduates who might have advanced qualifications and experience, but are competing for the same jobs.
This, he said, is why being humble and smart is vital in their attempts to build their careers.
The WAD leader also appealed to //Kharas Regional Council and the Keetmanshoop Municipality to take the lead to encourage the graduates to continue studying, as well as link them with prospective public and private institutions in the region, where they can do in-service training.
Some graduates New Era spoke to say they have gained the much-needed skills in their respective areas of study and are ready to enter the job market and make use of their new skills, although some admitted that getting jobs might be tough.
“I am happy to finally get my certificate. Now I can hopefully get a job and start taking care of my parents,” said Elizabeth Afrikaner.
The graduates were trained in fields of computer science, office administration, hospitality, needlework, manicure and pedicure training, while a total of 86 community members and law enforcement officers also received certificates of competence in gender-related laws.