Artisans not inferior to university graduates

Businesses in Namibia have been encouraged to assist students with job attachments so that they can acquire the necessary experience.

A member of the Advisory Council for Valombola Vocational Training Centre (VVTC), Tomas Iindji, recently made this appeal during the opening of the Ongwediva centre.

Iindji has encouraged businesses to adopt what he termed a one-business, one-learner attachment strategy, which he believes will help trainee artisans to gain practical knowledge of what they have studied.

In the long run, Iindji noted, vocational graduates will be able to start their own business as well.

Iindji challenged vocational training centres across Namibia not only to train their students, concentrating on their specific trades, but also provide them with extensive business knowledge. "Show them how businesses are established, equip them with skills of drawing up their own business plans which financial institutions would not refuse to fund," said the businessman.

"Financial institutions are ready to fund your businesses provided you submit well thought out, practical and workable business plans. A business plan that is convincing would not be turned down by any banking institution."

He encouraged vocational trainees to ensure that if and when they have secured finance from banks and other financing institutions they should start their own business, use the funds to build the business and should repay the borrowed money as agreed.

Iindji believes vocational training is the backbone in developing a country's economy and therefore the training provided should be related to what the industries are looking for.

For vocational training centres to impart knowledge and practical skills needed by industries, they must be well equipped. He stressed that vocational training must be regarded as good an education just like any other provided by an institution that imparts relevant knowledge and skills needed for industrialization and development.

"The perception that a university degree is more valuable than vocational training has led to poverty and high unemployment," warned Iindji.

He re-emphasized that vocational training is a cornerstone of development.

Iindji cited Germany as an example of a country that places high emphasis on vocational training, which is why it makes consumer goods of exceptional quality that are sort after by buyers across the globe.

VVTC, located in Ongwediva, has close to 1000 trainees who are being equipped in various technical and commercial trades, ranging from auto mechanics to hospitality and tourism.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia