Eveline de Klerk
Not knowing your passion or trying to figure out your career path can be a daunting task, especially if opportunities to do so are few and far in between.
Debbie Tsamases from Uis had similar struggles. After returning home from yet another unsuccessful journey of seeking job opportunities in Swakopmund, she met someone who introduced her to a career path she knew nothing about.
Two years on, Tsamases is now a qualified goldsmith after acing a two-year course on jewellery design from the Namibia Community Skills Development Centre (Cosdec) in Swakopmund.
“I did not know anything about jewellery when I met a kind lady who was busy interviewing small miners in Uis on the same day I returned from Swakopmund after I could not get a job,” she told Youth Corner.
After a brief conversation, the woman suggested Tsamases try jewellery design; which she did.
Tsamases gradually fell in love with jewellery making, and can now craft jewellery from scratch and on the client’s request.
“However, I am mostly interested in jewellery repairs, as a lot of goldsmiths do not offer that service,” she said proudly.
Goldsmiths are expert metalworkers, who utilise precious metals, particularly gold, to repair and create jewellery. They design concepts, make alterations and manipulate gold to produce customised rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, broaches, and more.
Goldsmiths also provide maintenance services, such as polishing, setting, plating and engraving – and also work with other metals and precious stones.
Tsamases is now eager to learn how to cut precious stones and after gaining enough experience, wants to start her jewellery line in the near future.
She now encourages young people to explore other career opportunities and training that can become either a stepping stone to their dream career or an employment creation enabler.
“Not everyone is attracted to the mainstream career options, and not all of us are cut out for big offices. Some of us need to follow our passion and try out new things,” she stressed.
According to Michelle //Inixas, the Arts and Craft Centre manager, the centre offers a variety of short and long courses, ranging from jewellery design and manufacturing, leather craft, visual arts and graphic design, which are all national courses endorsed by the Namibia Training Authority.
“We cater for the ordinary school leaver up to the person with basic reading and writing skills. Our aim is to provide focused, practical skills training that incorporates business skills, entrepreneurship and life skills.
“The training programmes relate to opportunities in the local economy in terms of demand for goods and services.”
They also focus on assisting young people to find employment in the local economy – either in the formal or informal sector.
The training provided at the centres is competency-based, and the courses focus on the basic skills an employer expects of an entry-level worker.