WINDHOEK – The Office of the Prime Minister yesterday confirmed Cabinet’s decision to halt the placement of student interns in the public service, but hastened to say this was a temporary measure.
A circular dated 15 January, bearing the signature of Secretary to Cabinet George Simataa requested government offices, ministries and agencies to suspend internships.
The announcement unsettled many people, particularly students and new graduates seeking internship placement opportunities.
Some tertiary education institutions have made internship placement a pre-requisite for graduating, hence the pandemonium in some quarters.
Tuyakula Haipinge, a deputy permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday moved to clarify the matter.
She said Simataa’s circular directing government offices to suspend internships was misconstrued to mean there will be no more placement of interns in the public service.
“The public service has not done away with the placement of interns,” she said, adding: “However, the halting is a temporary measure while the Office of the Prime Minister is engaging OMAs [offices, ministries and agencies] and other stakeholders to resolve some technical issues that presented problems during the implementation of the policy.”
She said these temporary measures will only apply to graded interns, pupil/assistant ranks (under training) as defined in the Personnel Administrative Measures (PAM).
“Therefore,” she said, “the measures contained in the [Simataa circular] are not applicable to other students who are seeking placement for job attachment for a period not longer than three months. “It is expected that the consultation process will be completed during February 2019 so that the halted internship programme can resume with immediate effect.”
Students and unemployed graduates use internship as both a source of know-how and a stepping stone towards getting a job either at their host employers or elsewhere in the job market.
The ‘Status of the Namibian Economy’ report produced by the National Planning Commission in 2017 hiked unemployment at 37.3 percent.
The report stated that Namibia’s labour market is vulnerable with unemployment increasing over recent years and jobs decreasing.
In 2016 unemployment stood at 34 percent, in 2014 it stood at 28 percent, according to the Namibia Labour Force Survey conducted by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA).
Unemployment is highly concentrated in Kunene and Zambezi regions, where joblessness was recorded at 62,8 percent and 58,3 percent respectively, reported The Namibian last year, quoting the report.
The all-time high of 37,6 percent of unemployment was recorded in 2008 during the global financial crisis.
2019-01-25 09:06:16 23 days ago