Start-up capital an obstacle to VTC graduates

Ongwediva-There is a mounting concern that graduates of vocational schools in the country are finding it hard to establish themselves in the job market, thereby adding to the unemployment rate in the country.

Giving insight on the matter, Uukwiyu-Uushona Councillor Andreas Amundjindi remarked that many vocational graduates have the required skills but lack start-up capital to initiate entrepreneurial outlets to employ themselves and create employment for others.

Amundjindi suggests the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare establish a fund to assist vocational trainees with start-up capital to kick-start the setting up of businesses. He is also encouraging VTC trainees to organise themselves into cooperatives to ensure that such fund would serves a greater mass.

Amundjindi made the suggestions during a meeting organised by the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare to get public input on the country's poverty eradication plans. The meeting took place in Oshana Region last week Friday.

Attending the meeting were governors and representatives from Oshana, Omusati, Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions.

The ministry's blueprint plan on wealth distribution and poverty eradication acknowledges that youth unemployment is partly due to a lack of vocational centres across the country to equip the youth with the technical skills needed in the job market or to create entrepreneurship.

Special advisor to the Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Bience Gawanas said training was a priority for the ministry, but encouraged trainees to set up cooperatives to cut costs and in the long run benefit a greater number of people.

Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation Itah Kandjii-Murangi echoed the same sentiments at an inauguration ceremony at the Eenhana Vocational Training Centre at the end of last week.

Kandjii-Murangi said while efforts are made to support entrepreneurship development in the country, participants of such programmes fail to establish themselves as entrepreneurs, because of a lack of start-up capital, collateral and a lack of coaching and mentoring to provide with the necessary confidence.

From a national development perspective, it speaks to a broader purpose of identifying business talents, passion and dreams of widening the base of entrepreneurship through developing the entrepreneurial skills of trainees especially those from privileged sections of society, she said.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia