JCI says vocational education key to youth jobs
Speaking at the handover, JCI national president Efraim Ndalipo Paulus said that one of the root causes of youth unemployment in Namibia is the inadequate focus on vocational education within the academic framework. "The prevailing approach predominantly prepares individuals to be employees rather than job creators. This has led to over 70% of private companies in Namibia being foreign-owned, further limiting job creation prospects for the local population."
JCI indicated that prioritising and enhancing vocational education in Namibia’s academic system by focusing on practical skills development and entrepreneurship from an early age will enable youth to be well-equipped to create their own businesses and contribute to the country’s economic growth.
They urged government to collaborate with the private sector to promote and invest in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programmes, as this will shift people’s mindset towards valuing and pursuing technical skills as a viable and respected career path. "This can be achieved through targeted awareness campaigns, career guidance programmes, and partnerships with industries to showcase successful vocational role models."
Outlining the various stakeholders responsible for strengthening vocational education in Namibia, they indicated that the education ministry should integrate vocational education into the academic curriculum, develop relevant policies and ensure the availability of quality TVET programmes.
In addition, the higher education, training and innovation ministry ought to align vocational education with industry needs through the promotion of partnerships between TVET institutions and employers, in addition to offering support and incentives for vocational education.
They suggested private sector associations and companies do their part by collaborating with educational institutions to provide vocational training opportunities, internships and apprenticeships. They should also participate in awareness campaigns about how individuals can meet industry demands. As for the parent-teacher associations and civil society organisations, they said that they should encourage parents and communities to value and support vocational education. They ought to advocate for it and provide mentorship and guidance to young students considering vocational career paths.
The handover was attended by the executive chairperson of the NYC of Namibia, Sharonice Busch who said: "We will continue to work with JCI Namibia to ensure that we take the next appropriate steps, which include but are not limited to conducting further studies of feasibility on the individual recommendations and ensuring that they receive the appropriate audience."