ONGWEDIVA – Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions should prepare the youth for promising careers that await them in the oil and gas sector, Outapi mayor Selma Asino has said.
Speaking at a gathering of various stakeholders within the oil and gas industry at Nakayale VTC recently, she said TVET institutions should ensure the local workforce is skilled to contribute to the growth and success of this vital sector by enhancing their programmes, forging partnerships with industry leaders and incorporating relevant industry practices into their curriculum.
“Let us empower our TVET institutions to become centres of excellence that nurture talent, foster innovation and fuel the engine of progress in the oil and gas industry. Together, we can create a robust pipeline of skilled professionals who will drive our country’s development and prosperity for generations to come,” said Asino.
Petrofund CEO Nillian Mulemi highlighted that inadequate support towards TVET institutions leads to challenges, namely: lack of competent skills at all levels, delayed rollout of projects and high cost of project rollout, failure to meet local content requirements and inability to meet or manage the expectations of host countries, as well as frequent labour unrests and mistrust relationships with host countries.
She urged support to institutions with software, equipment, laboratory and industry experts to avail time to assist in training and ultimately llocalie training as a medium to long-term plan.
Muremi stressed that training of the Namibian oil and gas workforce should be conducted in-country to manage costs, improve access and meet demand timely.
“We will ramp up oil and gas specialised skills and accredited safety programmes. We are open to engaging in opportunities for deploying graduates to secure experience in the industry,” she added.
According to Zambezi VTC centre manager Richard Kambinda, TVET plays a crucial role in fostering economic growth, reducing unemployment and addressing specific skills gaps within the workforce.
“TVET programmes in Namibia offer young people opportunities to acquire practical skills, giving them a pathway to employment and reducing youth unemployment rates. TVET institutions collaborate closely with industries, ensuring that training programmes align with current market needs, resulting in better jobs for graduates,” he said.
Speaking at a different platform on Thursday, urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni said it is impossible for government to employ everyone in the country.
However, government needs to invest more than they currently do in vocational education for people to re-invest and plough back their skills into the economy, instead of being mere government job seekers.
“The more industries we will have, the more jobs created for these various other professions. Furthermore, our secondary school-leaving students should be able to have technical and entrepreneurship skills that can sustain them,” said Uutoni during the commemoration of the Africa Day of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development at Okahao in Omusati region.
Encouraging the youth to venture into TVET institutions as a preferred career choice, he said: “The youth will be able to grow their skills and recruit other unfortunate peers so that no one is not left out, as they will have something to do, based on their level of education”.
Uutoni said more research is needed on comparative education to learn from other countries that have successfully managed to make positive advancements regarding the link between employment and vocational education.