Railway construction students graduate

A total number of 11 young men and women recently graduated as platelayers or track masters after completing an intensive 19-month training, which commenced in February 2019 at the DandM Rail Construction training centre in Otjiwarongo.

The graduates will now join the ranks of the group of professionals tasked with the upgrading of railway lines across the country.

According to a company statement availed to Nampa on Monday, the course included both theoretical/academic training as well as onsite practical engagements on the railway tracks currently being rehabilitated by the company on the Omaruru-Otjiwarongo sections.

DandM said it established a full-time in-house training section to train Namibians in permanent way construction and maintenance including permanent way welding.

The first group of candidates to be trained as platelayers and trackmen were identified in 2013, and 14 have qualified and are currently included in the supervisor’s pool.

Last year’s training department identified 12 candidates from secondary schools in the Otjozondjupa Region in January 2019 to be trained as platelayers.

This group consisted of four female and eight male students. The duties of these newly-trained Namibians include the supervision and control over railway maintenance teams performing scheduled repairs and maintenance on railway tracks.

They will also be responsible for the construction of railway tracks and turnouts, the replacement of broken rails, as well as repair of slacks and misalignment in railway lines.

More than 31 female employees have been trained during the company’s 2013-2014 in-house training.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony that took place over the weekend, Edward Kambongarera, DandM Rail Training Manager who has more than 41 years’ experience in the railway construction industry, reiterated his company’s commitment to human resource development through high-level training and practical onsite exposure in especially those areas where the country experiences skills scarcity such as railway construction and maintenance.

“DandM Rail Construction is proud to transfer the knowledge of railway engineering to the young generation for a better future in railways construction,” he said.

Kambongarera encouraged the graduates to perform their task with the dignity and respect towards their colleagues, working safely and to an expected high standard of quality “in the interest of the economic growth of our country”.

Source: Namibia Press Agency