By Bank Windhoek’s Executive Officer of Marketing and Corporate Communication Services, Jacquiline Pack.
With the recent oil discoveries and plans to produce green hydrogen at competitive costs, accompanied by abundant wind and solar resources, Namibia’s future looks promising. To add to this, in a speech delivered on her behalf at the National Skills Competition hosted in Ongwediva in September 2023, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said that with the recent sizeable oil discoveries, Namibia is also fast emerging as one of the world’s final frontiers for oil exploration. Namibia’s vast natural resources are estimated at 11 billion barrels of oil and 2.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.
The Minister, who added that the country’s plans to become the clean energy hub of Africa are well underway, emphasised that the Government’s vision for the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector is predicated on developing its people as the country’s most important resource. She said the Government believes that investing in TVET prioritises national socio-economic development, technological progress, industrialisation and wealth creation.
To this effect, Bank Windhoek supports this notion and believes that the TVET sector can contribute to economic growth. Countries like Switzerland, Germany and Singapore have made their TVET system the best globally, significantly contributing to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For instance, Switzerland is a global leader in vocational training, on-the-job training and employability. Its TVET model is considered a gold standard compared to other vocational education and training systems.
Bank Windhoek’s TVET sector support
Bank Windhoek believes in empowering the TVET sector because of its significant contributions to fighting unemployment, generating knowledge, sharing experiences, benchmarking and innovation in skills development. The Bank’s sponsorship of one million Namibian Dollars to the Namibian Training Authority (NTA) to host WorldSkills Africa in 2022 in Swakopmund is a testimony of this belief.
Bank Windhoek and the Capricorn Foundation, in September 2023, announced another contribution of one million Namibian Dollars to the NTA in support of the third National Skills Competition in Ongwediva. This significant financial contribution reinforces Bank Windhoek and the Capricorn Foundation's commitment to being a connector of positive change within the Namibian economy and communities in which it operates. The sponsorship reflects our unwavering commitment to education and skills development in Namibia, which leads to long-term, meaningful employment for Namibians.
The importance of skills competitions
The third National Skills Competition is an integral part of Namibia's efforts to cultivate a skilled and empowered workforce, which, in turn, contributes to an industrialised and knowledge-based economy.
The competition showcased exceptional talent, innovation, and dedication to craftsmanship. It brought together a wide array of stakeholders to provide practical solutions and discuss the importance of creating opportunities and bridging the unemployment gap for the Namibian youth. One of the event’s main objectives was to promote nurturing entrepreneurial mindsets within the TVET ecosystem to encourage job creation and innovation.
The event also had sub-themes which explored the potential of Namibia's emerging sectors, such as Green Hydrogen, Oil and Gas, Agriculture, Biomass and the Blue Economy, as avenues for creating employment opportunities for the youth.
Collective support and benefits
Bank Windhoek understands that vocational training benefits individuals, industries, and economies. It provides specialised skills, enhances career readiness, bridges the skills gap, and addresses the growing demand for skilled workers. Whether through trade schools, apprenticeships, skills competitions, or on-the-job training, vocational training programmes empower individuals to excel in their chosen careers and contribute to economic growth. As the future brings technological advancements and new challenges, vocational training will continue to play a crucial role in shaping successful careers and driving economic recovery.
As we collectively fight to curtail Namibia's high youth unemployment rate, increasing investment in the channels and sectors, such as TVET, for development purposes, is the right approach for economic growth. Congratulations to all the winners and participants who took part in the third National Skills Competition. All the best to the Namibian team preparing for the WorldSkills International competition in France in 2024.