‘Struggle kids’ exempted from recruitment process

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-The children born in exile during the liberation struggle, informally called ‘struggle kids’, who graduate from vocational training centres, will not be required to apply, or go through the normal interviews to contend, for available positions in the market.

According to Mathew Kaholongo, a member of the committee dealing with the children of the liberation struggle, they are busy with finding jobs for the ‘kids’ for which they will be exempted from going through the procedural recruitment process.

“It was Cabinet’s directive that indicated that the plight of the children of the liberation struggle be addressed, thus the exemption for all entry positions,” explained Kaholongo.

Last year the government released N$11.3 million from the Social Security Commission (SCC) to send ‘struggle kids’ to different vocational training centres across the country.

A group of 54 students were sent to NIMT in Arandis, 260 students to Berg Aukas and 251 students were sent to Simon Mutumba police centre.

The purpose of enrollment of the ‘struggle kids’ is to equip them with the necessary skills for them to be employable as well as to employ themselves, according to Kaholongo.

The group is being trained in technical and vocational areas such as motor mechanics, plumbing, welding, building construction, electrical installation and electronics. “We are currently looking within different ministries that are in critical need of such workers,” said Kaholongo.

Asked if the exemption amounts to unfair treatment of those that have the same qualifications but are not ‘struggle kids’, Kaholongo explained that the committee is dealing specifically with ‘struggle kids’ and their plight. He added that the ‘struggle kids’ at the time did not have the same opportunities as there are today.

According to the labour statistics of 2016 from the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), Namibia’s unemployment rate increased by 34 percent in 2016 with 349,383 people unemployed.

However, some of the group of new graduates from NIMT have threatened to demonstrate as they feel that the government is not living up to its end of the deal.

According to a 36-year-old mother of two who wishes to remain anonymous she is part of the group that graduated in August but are still seated at home waiting for the jobs promised them.

“They said we should be educated so they can employ us but now they are dodging us. They are busy painting a picture that we do not want to work,” narrated the angry 36-year-old.

According to Kaholongo the ‘kids’ need to be patient. “We are in touch with them and are busy putting things in place so that they can be employed. I don’t understand why they are busy running to the papers,” added Kaholongo.

“This is something that was not budgeted for – all I am asking is for them to give us until the end of the month … we will make sure that they all get jobs. There are certain job categories such as cleaning and labouring that are suitable.”

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