Addressing Skills Shortage in Banking Sector

Windhoek — Despite the local job market being flooded with a high number of graduates from both local and foreign institutions, Namibia still lack skills in the critical business banking areas of auditing, chartered accounting, actuarial science, compliance, property evaluation, information technology and risk management and investment banking, amongst others.

These skills are required in the general functioning, growth and development of the entire financial services sector. Human capital management is one of the strategic pillars of Bank Windhoek’s success and the bank says it therefore places a high emphasis on skills and leadership development, talent management and embedding a high performance culture among its 1 370 employees, of whom over 98 percent are Namibian citizens.

Bank Windhoek is also committed to providing quality service to all its clients and stakeholders and its staff are guided by the bank’s service charter, which sets out minimum standards of service delivery. The bank’s service promise is to turn every client interaction into an amazing Bank Windhoek service experience.

Producing highly trained professionals is a priority of Bank Windhoek as it believes in the value of an educated and trained workforce that is capable of enhancing the bank’s performance and provide efficient service to its clients and stakeholders as well as develop Namibia’s financial sector.

Bank Windhoek therefore says it supports the establishment of the Financial Sector Skills Enrichment Programme as proposed in the Namibia Financial Sector Strategy (2011-2021) and the National Human Resources Plan (2010 – 2015), aimed at addressing the shortages of skills in the financial services industry and to produce highly trained industry professionals.

The programme is envisaged to be funded by financial industry players and regulators, with other sources of funding also to be explored.

Bank Windhoek says that it supports the reviewing of existing courses offered at local institutions of higher learning to determine their relevance and adequacy as many business graduates remain unemployed, or find employment in fields outside their degree specialty, due to the possible inadequacy of existing courses.

The vocational education and training (VET) levy, which Bank Windhoek fully supports, will provide the bank with the opportunity to become involved in vocational education and training to address the scarcity of skilled workers and support the development and transformation of the country’s economy into a knowledge-based economy by 2030. Bank Windhoek says it understands the importance of VET and has, through its Social Investment Fund, been involved in VET through its support of the Kayec Trust, an organisation set up to provide practical vocational training skills to the youth.

Modified training and development programmes ranging from soft skills, management and leadership development as well as generic to specialised operational training interventions are offered at the innovative, custom-designed Bank Windhoek Learning and Development Centre in Windhoek.

The Accelerated Training Programme (ATP) is another initiative that has been established with the core objective to identify, attract, train and retain talented employees as part of the talent management initiative of the bank.

The bank promotes lifelong learning and capacity building through the accessibility of internal bursaries for distance and part time studies, made available to its employees.

The Candidate Bankers Training (CBT) Programme is one of the initiatives of Bank Windhoek to train young people who aspire to become bankers and trained individuals for the financial sector. The progamme is offered at no cost and candidates receive a Candidate Banking Diploma at the end of the five-month programme. To date, the CBT Programme has produced 547 candidates.

Bank Windhoek is also addressing the skills shortage in the banking sector through its bursary scheme, which has assisted 41 students since its inception 14 years ago, to further their studies in fields of business and related courses.

“As stated in the Namibia Financial Sector Strategy, globalisation and the integration of financial markets have highlighted the importance of employing highly skilled individuals and continuous training and skills development for our staff, to be able to compete and participate on the international stage, as well as participating in developing the country’s financial sector. Despite the training initiatives from Bank Windhoek and other financial service sector players, the establishment of the Financial Sector Skills Enrichment Programme will be a boost for the entire sector as there continues to be a high demand for highly skilled individuals,” said Elize Fahl, Executive Officer: Group Human Resources at Bank Windhoek.