Promotion of vocational education and training
Title: Promotion of vocational education and training in Namibia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Namibia Ministry of Education
Overall term: 2012 to 2017
More than two decades have passed since Namibia achieved independence, yet almost one third of the population still lives in poverty. People with no formal education, those living in rural areas, young people and women are particularly hard hit.
Companies are unable to gain a competitive edge as they are faced with cumbersome administrative and legal frameworks and an acute lack of qualified experts. Inadequate cooperation between companies and vocational training institutions hampers the development of occupational profiles, training standards and teaching materials to meet the needs of the economy. Opportunities for in-company training are rare. There are not enough training providers accredited according to modern standards, and the regulation of training institutions is inadequate, particularly regarding quality assurance. The drop-out rates at mainstream and vocational schools are high.
As a result, too few workers enter the labour market, and those who do are inadequately qualified. Namibia is therefore struggling with high unemployment, which hampers growth and socioeconomic structural change.
The relatively new regulatory authority for vocational education, the Namibia Training Authority (NTA), is beginning to develop institutional structures, to address shortcomings and in particular to increase the private sector's involvement in vocational education.
Namibia's vocational education system is able to meet the private sector's demand for vocational training more effectively. The quantity and quality of suitably qualified workers on the Namibian labour market has improved.
The project is being implemented in collaboration with a consortium of consulting firms (INTEGRATION, Scottish Agricultural Centre, MANSTRAT, Agricultural Intelligence Solutions). It focuses on developing important parameters for raising the quality of the vocational education system and on improving vocational training in key economic sectors.
Advisory and further training measures are being carried out to increase the capability, resources and capacities of NTA.
Structured partnerships with the private sector are being set up, for example to identify which business sectors are experiencing a shortage of skilled labour. Occupational profiles and curricula are being developed and refined in line with the needs of the economy. Vocational school teachers are receiving further training, and the administration of vocational schools is being improved. Private sector initiatives on basic and further vocational training are being strengthened.
The project is helping to enhance and expand basic and further training in selected business sectors, such as solar installation, agriculture and road construction. The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) and the relevant vocational schools are receiving assistance to develop and jointly implement occupational profiles and curricula in cooperation with agribusinesses. Small and medium-sized enterprises are cooperating with vocational schools. The project is also promoting the dual vocational training system, which builds on collaboration with the private sector, and strengthening state and private training providers.
Basic and further vocational training in Namibia is to be put on a sound financial footing in the medium and long term by setting up a national training fund.
New training courses have been developed on the basis of dialogue and planning processes with the private sector and actors such as MAWF. Government and private training centres are introducing the new courses throughout the country with support from the project.
As part of the measures to improve the vocational education system, NTA has started to team up with the private sector to carry out needs analyses as the basis for demand-driven vocational training planning. Training providers have received assistance in offering in-service teacher training courses for around 100 teachers (February 2015). NTA is increasingly including the private sector and employers from various sectors into its planning processes. Business associations and institutions and private training providers share their experience with one another and with NTA using forums such as the Communities of Practice (exchange platforms in certain sectors) introduced by the project.
NTA has commissioned a satisfaction study on vocational training and a gender and HIV/AIDS analysis. The results of the analysis provide key impetus for planning and implementing training courses.
There is a great deal of exchange between projects implemented by different donors, steered by NTA.