Qualification Alone Not Enough – Hage Geingob

PRIME Minister Hage Geingob has said a good qualification alone is important but does not guarantee a job or a good career.

Addressing an International University of Management (IUM) graduation ceremony in Windhoek on Friday, Geingob urged the youth to move with the changing times if they are to secure jobs in a competitive job market.

“Gone are the days when having a good qualification alone would guarantee one a good career or job. The Global Employment Trends Report 2014 said employment growth remains weak, unemployment continues to rise, especially among young people, and large numbers of discouraged potential workers are still outside the labour market,” he said.

Geingob said changing demographics, and social and economic profiles show the importance of addressing all kinds of challenges.

“We need to develop skills to manage today’s challenges. If we were to project these demographics, and many other social and economic variables 15 years or 50 years into the future, the challenge becomes still greater. Yet, such periods are not much more than your working lives.

“Our skills must be relevant and to keep that relevance, we must engage in lifelong learning. As an analogy, we must learn, as technology evolves and the global economy changes, to be the ones to invent and programme the robots, not the ones to be displaced, if we are to have fulfilling careers, he said. He also said that he expects graduates to be thinkers.

“Thinkers who will be able to transform Namibia’s economic landscape by developing innovative ideas in their various fields of qualification,” he said, adding that only 5% of youth in sub-Saharan Africa attend college.

The PM further said by the end of the 4th National Development Plan (2012-2017), Namibia should have laid a foundation for becoming the most competitive economy in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

“This is a very ambitious undertaking. In the global economic race, nations that have succeeded are those that have a competitive aantage and not necessarily those that just have a comparative aantage,” he said, quoting the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Geingob said institutions such as IUM will increasingly become important in developing a closer relationship between tertiary education and the external world, including greater responsiveness to labour market needs.

“You will be expected to have g ethics and a concern for the greater good, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, or class. You will be expected to be innovative thinkers, ready to develop creative solutions, possessing an entrepreneurial mindset which will reignite Namibia’s private sector and help it thrive. Remember that the onus is on you to ensure that in the struggle for economic emancipation, ‘no Namibian should feel left out’.”

Source : The Namibian