To reduce the unemployment rate among graduates in Namibia, Bank Windhoek initiated its first Graduate Development Programme (GDP) as part of its overall social investment initiative in 2021. After a robust selection process, eight candidates were chosen to participate in the Programme with the primary objective of empowering them with the skills they need to succeed in corporate Namibia. What set out as a journey of giving back turned out to be one of enrichment and reward, as stated by Bank Windhoek's Managing Director, Baronice Hans. “As connectors of positive change, the Programme reflects our commitment to empower the community in which we operate," said Hans.
On Friday, 2 December 2022, Bank Windhoek held an event to honour the candidates and for management to get a glimpse of their respective journeys over the 18 months they were in the programme. The day was filled with warmth, excitement, and reflection as the graduates recounted their learnings, growth, and hopes for the near future. The success of the Programme has encouraged a second intake in the coming year.
“What stood out immensely from the programme is that most of the graduates will be absorbed in the company in various departments as employees of Bank Windhoek. This is one way to demonstrate the programme's effectiveness to have met and exceeded its objectives," said Bank Windhoek's Executive Officer of Human Capital, Retuura Ballotti.
During the Programme, one of the graduates, Aina Shangheta, took on the responsibility of running significant project such as the Bank Windhoek's 40th Birthday Celebrations. In November, the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP27, took place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. As a graduate, Joachim Komeheke represented Bank Windhoek.
The Graduate Development Programme is an opportunity to reduce the unemployment rate while simultaneously aligning the programme's objectives to the talent needs of the Group. “It seeks to create a pipeline for future leaders in scarce and specialist disciplines in line with the bank's future-fit competency framework and overall business strategy," said Ballotti. “It is an avenue through which employment targets in line with the Bank's employment, diversity and inclusion strategic objectives with a specific focus on the inclusion of people living with disabilities can be achieved."