Private sector more important than government in the battle against unemployment, poverty and income inequality – minister
The Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Erkki Nghimtina last week said, there is an urgent need for industry and education and Training Institutions to collaborate in designing programmes that will help young people to make a smooth transition from school to the world of work.
He said this at the launch of the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) Namibia, as well as the release of the survey on Assessing the Challenges in Implementing Apprenticeship programmes in Namibia on behalf of the Namibian Employers’ Federation (NEF).
“It is for this purpose that our government established the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) to facilitate the designing of vocational programmes that will equip young people with the skills that are demanded by the labour market.”
He said that he has observed that issues of unemployment, poverty and income inequality have been left for government alone to solve. He therefore reminded his audience that the private sector is more important than government in this battle.
“I commend the NEF for this initiative which I believe will go a long way in addressing the youth unemployment and provide the skills needed by the industry, which I understand is the third to be launched in Africa and I am cognizant of the fact that this is not a quick fix or a panacea to youth unemployment and skills development, therefore it is a long term investment and requires commitment and patience,” he said.
Maria Machailo-Ellis, Senior Specialist for Employers Activities at International Labour Organisation (ILO) said they are actively involved in focusing on building capacity for a smother school-to-work transition, on improving the infrastructure of opportunities for young people to have access to jobs, on the modernization of vocational training institutions and on skills anticipation and forecasting. “For example here in Namibia we worked in collaboration with the government in mapping and reviewing key national interventions on youth unemployment and the results are a report which presents a systematic review on the nature and structure of youth unemployment in Namibia,” she explained.
She applauded the efforts of Namibian employers particularly members of NEF for finding it necessary to take into their hands the responsibility to create the workforce they want, the workfoce needed to make their enterprises competitive. “As part of the GAN network it is expected that those employers who participate will benefit from immense experiences of world renowned companies who make up the Global Network,” she concluded.