Internship programme prepares the youth for the real deal
Kraatz, a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, last year opened its doors to Engineering students from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) to undergo an internship programme at the company, as part of its contribution to skills development.
Iyambo Erastus Shikomba,a 24-year old 4th year engineering student at NUST is no exception to the many local students who require internship and on-the-job training opportunities, in order to gain the necessary experience and expertise to be ready for the job market. Shikomba is also one of the first intakes to this internship platform for NUST Engineering students, and can only sing praises about his experience thus far.
Shikomba said, “Born and raised in Windhoek, I have always had this inherent desire to be an engineer which caused me to pursue a B-tech Degree in Mechanical Engineering at NUST. Fascinated by the intricacies of machines and structures, I remember from an early age I would disassemble and assemble electrical appliances at home, much to the annoyance of my family.”
“The past 9 months at Kraatz has been nothing short of amazing and although my internship ends on 31 October, I am hopeful to continue my journey here at Kraatz in order to grow myself even further and make a positive contribution not only to the company, but also my family, community and country,” he added.
Kraatz Human Capital Manager, Roberto January said Kraatz creates these opportunities in light of government’s Vision 2030 and the President’s Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), by providing opportunity for skills development, thus contributing to curbing the high unemployment rate and eradicating poverty.
January said, “We are very passionate about the O&L group purpose of ‘Creating a future, enhancing life’ for all Namibians, and the best way we can contribute to realizing this purpose and contributing to government’s vision, is to open our doors and invest in the local skills development of especially our Namibian youth.”
Shikomba said that his learning experience has only enriched his knowledge and abilities to become an expert in the field. “I am very pleased with the unique experience I have gained at Kraatz. I have been exposed to all aspects of Engineering from the ground level i.e. Boiler making, Mechanical Fitting and Offshore Ship Repair; to the Technical Level of Analyzing Engineering Drawings, Utilizing CAD Software and operating a CNC machine, amongst others. On the commercial side I was given the opportunity to deal with Estimations that enabled me to engage with various clients and suppliers in the engineering sector. I was very fortunate to have gained this opportunity to showcase my abilities as well as to grow myself at one of the biggest engineering companies in Namibia. The experience at Kraatz has made me gain a whole new perspective on life while I have grown both personally and professionally, and I am confident that I chose the right career, “ he added.
O&L Group Human Capital Director, Berthold Mukuahima emphasized the Group’s various programs in place for skills development, not only for its employees, but also available for the Namibian public at large. Mukuahima said, “Skills development and education is one of the critical pillars of the O&L Corporate Social Investment (CSI) portfolio, hence we have various programs in place that supports this mission. Kraatz’ initiatives and platforms to support the O&L purpose that in turn supports government’s endeavor to curb the high unemployment rate and eradicate poverty, amongst others, is testimony to our commitment and dedication to achieve these goals.” Mukuahima stressed that strong relationships with educational institutions, and government are also critical in that it supports Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) which is an important leg for the future of Namibia’s economy, and well-being.
“I commend Kraatz for investing in our Namibian youth by offering such a platform for students such as myself to gain valuable skills and experience in a professional environment and to get to experience what the engineering world outside the classroom is really like. During my time at Kraatz I have learned to be accountable and to take ownership of my own work and results. I have also experienced how to effectively work in a team with some truly great people. Kraatz is truly creating value and enhancing life,” Shikomba concluded