Seven Cuban instructors to be employed at VTCs

WINDHOEK: Seven Cuban instructors are expected to arrive in Namibia to start lecturing at various Vocational Training Centres (VTCs).

The Minister of Education, David Namwandi made this announcement on Thursday during the introduction of his ministry’s budget to the National Assembly (NA), but did not specify when the instructors would be arriving.

Namwandi said the qualified instructors’ services were acquired when he visited Cuba in early February this year.

The minister noted that a lack of critical human resources is the main challenge Namibian VTCs are currently experiencing.

“VTCs have thus embarked on recruiting qualified staff to prevent adverse impacts on the quality of training services rendered,” he said.

Namwandi also told the house that a Vocational Education Training (VET Levy has been implemented by the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) and it seeks to establish and manage a demand-driven vocational education and training system.

Its main objective is to ensure access, quality and equity in order to deliver the technical and vocational education and training skills required for productive work and accelerated social and economic development.

Early this year, the NTA called on all eligible employers country-wide to register with the NTA as VET Levy paying employers.

The registration process was necessary in order for the NTA to implement the VET levy on 01 April 2014. The levy is payable by every eligible employer with an annual payroll of N.dollars 1 million or more as per Section 35 of the VET Act.

The VET Levy requires affected employers to make a monthly contribution to the NTA’s National Training Fund (NTF), which is to apply such funds towards up-skilling and training Namibians in key national priority training and occupation areas.

The minister indicated that the programme aims to coordinate the entire training sector within a national competency-based training, assessment and qualifications framework to deliver the needed skills for the national economic development cause.

He stated that the programme will come into effect as from 01 April this year. The registration of employers commenced on 27 January and ended 27 February.

“In order to expand access and improve vocational training, the upgrading of the Eenhana and Rundu VTCs have already commenced,” he said, adding that the construction of two new centres in Gobabis and Keetmanshoop are also underway.

He pointed out that N.dollars 297 698 has been allocated to vocational education and training in this financial year, compared to the N.dollars 1 570 396 allocated in the 2013/2014 financial year.

Namwandi indicated that there was also a major increase in terms of enrolment into vocational education and training centres last year.

“There was a major increase of 17 per cent increase in enrolment, from 9 972 trainees in 2012 to 11 215 in 2013,” he said.