OMUTHIYA – The newly-established vocational training centre in Omuthiya is fast becoming a household name among the technical education fraternity.
The centre, established in 2022, now boasts over 70 students, registered in four different fields, such as hospitality and tourism, automotive mechanics, office administration, as well as welding and metal fabrication.
The centre is the brainchild of students from the Oshikoto region, who attended various vocational institutions across the country and then decided to set up a centre in their region.
The centre’s marketing manager, Fanuel Nestor, who is also an instructor for tourism and hospitality, said the decision to set up a vocational training centre in Omuthiya was motivated by the fact that there was no facility that offered vocational education for youth here, and specifically for those in the surrounding villages.
“When our president, Hage Geingob, was inaugurated in 2015, he stated in his maiden speech that the youth should come up with businesses. Hence, we looked at the skills needed for the job market and realised there was a need to establish a vocational training centre in Omuthiya. We grew up in rural areas and had to travel far to other towns in other regions to attend vocational training schools, which was not easy,” said Nestor.
He added the financial constraints they endured motivated them to initiate a vocational training centre.
“We realised that many youth in Oshikoto drop out of school, and did not want their cries for a vocational institution to fall on deaf ears,” Nestor noted.
He said the group did not have any start-up capital. But because they were driven by a vision, they were not deterred and continued mobilising for resources.
“We knew there would be challenges when we started the centre, but we were not discouraged by those challenges. We have since registered the centre with the relevant authorities, such as Bipa, NamRa and the Social Security Commission. As training providers, we are aware that we have to be registered with relevant bodies, such as the Namibia Training Authority (NTA),” added Nestor.
Although the centre is still in its infancy stage, he assured those hoping to enrol that it is progressing well.
The programmes on offer will also soon be accredited by the Namibia Qualifications Authority.
The centre has signed an agreement with the Eenhana Vocational Training Centre that would assist with the assessment of the courses offered at the Omuthiya Centre.
At present, they conduct their operations from the Namibia National Teachers Union (Nantu) headquarters in Omuthiya.
However, Nestor highlighted that they have approached the Omuthiya Town Council to donate land for the centre to construct its premises.
In February this year, the centre submitted a thorough business plan to the council, and consequently wrote two letters in April and October, respectively, to remind them of their request.
“We are still appealing to the town council to assist us with land and turn this centre into a beautiful training hub, where the youth can acquire skills they can use in the job market,” he
Recently, the centre hosted a gala dinner to raise funds for the inaugural Omuthiya Vocational Centre Career Fair and Expo, held in Omuthiya earlier this month.
Through the gala dinner, they generated about N$30 000, which will go towards the purchasing of equipment that will be used by the students when conducting practical classes at the workshop.
During the gala dinner, the centre was also gifted with new equipment by Shivute Buildware and Hardware Supplies, worth N$46 500.
Applications for the January 2024 intake are available at the centre, and youth are encouraged to enrol as soon as possible.
“If you have well-equipped youth with skills, you will have a well-equipped nation. Whether you are literate or illiterate, you have the right to be empowered with skills in the vocational training sector,” he stated.
*Hilma Hashange is an information officer for the MICT in the Oshikoto region.