Since the implementation of the VET Levy in April last year, 2290 businesses have registered as levy-paying employers. Registration is ongoing for newly established businesses eligible for registration and for those established employers whose annual payroll now exceeds the N$1 million registration threshold.
General Manager of the National Training Fund, Joseph Mukendwa said that the NTA is currently in the process of appointing Compliance Inspectors, who will visit non-complying employers to register for payment of the VET Levy.
“In line with the Vocational Education and Training Act of 2008, penalties for non-compliance are set at 10%. In turn, interest is charged at 20% in line with the Prescribed Rate of Interest Act of 1975 according to the Vocational Education and Training Act,” Mukendwa said.
The National Training Fund’s sharing formula allocates 35% for Key Priority Training Grants, up to 50% for Employer Training Grants and a ceiling of 15% for the NTA’s administration costs.
Under the Employer Training Grants, all VET Levy-paying employers may claim back up to 50% of levies paid during a particular financial year, on condition that they submit evidence of investing in the training of their employees and of the actual cost of training conducted. According to Mukendwa, all claims received thus far are being evaluated against set criteria, before the NTA is to pay out claims to employers.
Through the Key Priority Training Grant and through the funding the NTA receives from the government, training institutions accredited by the Namibia Qualifications Authority have already started to deliver training programmes in Crane Operations, and in Hospitality and Tour Guiding for 108 unemployed youth.
Another 63 youth also stand to benefit from further training on Levels 3 and 4 in the fields of Electrical General, Welding and Boilermaking, by two South African-based training institutions.
Three local training institutions have also been approved by the NTA Board of Directors to assess and certify about 500 candidates as having received prior learning through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) service, which credits the individuals after demonstrating their competence in already gained knowledge and skills. Mukendwa said that candidates undergo a series of assessments specifically designed to assist them to display their competence. At the end of the assessment, each candidate is issued with credits to be registered for the specific qualification.
Short-term interventions in the areas of Agriculture, Hospitality and Tourism, Logistics and Manufacturing have been aligned with the development of sector priorities, as laid out in the Fourth National Development Plan.
The NTA is also to consider proposals from local accredited training institutions to provide training in other priority areas. Recent public notices invited proposals from such training institutions to provide technical and vocational training for occupations in high demand, as identified by the NTA’s various Industry Skills Committees.
The Industry Skills Committees have developed sector-specific skills development plans, called Sector Skills Plans, which highlight training needs and priorities. Mukendwa would not comment on questions regarding the state of reconciliation of the accounts of VET Levy-paying employers, saying that this will be addressed officially after September.