• September 26th, 2020

Editorial - Innovate or perish like dinosaurs

It is high time Namibia starts making serious investments in vocational training colleges (VTCs) if we are serious about capacitating school-going children who complete secondary schooling, so that we create jobs and wealth, and broaden our tax base post Covid-19. VTC training needs to be prioritised more post the pandemic era so that we can innovate and create products that could be produced on an industrial scale for everyday use from within and outside our borders. 

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a leading light for being one of the greatest hubs for innovation and entrepreneurship on earth credited with translating every-day science into transformative innovation that has even spawned multinational corporations employing millions and creating wealth. There an urgent need for change in the way we conduct our businesses, the way we trade with other nations and the way we trade from within. 

The world is not static. It changes on each day and more so with this global pandemic. If we do not embrace transformative change, we could easily wind up as dinosaurs consigned to the dustbin of history. Namibia already has the first port of call being the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) and we already have several VTCs spread across the breadth of the country. VTCs the world over have been embraced because they have higher and improved employment outcomes. When school leavers are made to grasp labour market benefits of improved employment outcomes, this will incentivise them to take VTC courses that will also create a huge pool of skilled artisans able to innovate and create products for everyday use. 

On the income tax side, there will be a higher and immediate return on the money invested to train such highly trained artisan who will not only create a job for self but could also employ others. VTC training makes it stress-free for such students to find jobs when compared to a university graduate because in vocational training a student is taught specific skills for a specific job. And if such trainees prefer to work for someone they are normally regarded as more fruitful. Many jobs in tourism and hospitality, retail and service sectors will vanish because of the pandemic. 
But when we invest big time in VTC training this could mitigate such record job losses. Major global economies will somehow be cushioned from the pandemic because their manufacturing sectors employ highly-skilled artisans able to produce on industrial scale countless consumer goods. Such skilled workforce could cushion their economies pushed into pandemic-induced recessions. 

That is why we are advocating for gravitation towards VTC training that could in future come in handy in case there is a recurrence of the emergency of a new virus that is equally devastating. That said we should indeed draw inspiration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or perish like dinosaurs if we do not seek and embrace forward-looking transformative change.

Staff Reporter
2020-05-08 10:20:49 | 4 months ago

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