VET levy deadline looms
“Under Section 35 of the Vocational Education and Training Act of 2008, the Minister of Education, with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance, and after consulting the NTA Board, imposed the VET Levy by way of a notice in the official Government Gazette of 27 January 2014” the acting CEO said in a signed statement.
Employers with an annual payroll of one million Namibia dollars, or more, are required to register as levy-paying employers with the Namibia Training Authority, within a period of 30 days after the Gazette date.
The state, regional councils, charitable organisations, public educational institutions, not-for-gain and faith-based organisations – whether or not supported wholly, or partly, by grants from public funds – are exempt from paying the VET Levy. But the NTA pointed out that State-Owned Enterprises and Local Authorities must also register, while any employer may apply to the Minister of Education for exemption adding that such an application does not remove the duty to register. When the levy was announced, the Namibia Employers Federation (NEF) said it is pleased that the minimum level for eligible companies has been raised to N$1 million per year and that the rate has been set at 1% although the NEF had urged that it be reduced to 0.5%.
Regarding the cost impact of the VET levy, the NEF stated its concern at the cash-flow implications on companies who are engaged in training, noting that there are some companies already investing heavily in training. “They will now have to pay the 1% levy upfront and only be able to claim back their 50% after one year.” “Secondly we are also concerned at the restrictiveness of the reclaimable expenses, where only NQA registered courses will be allowed. There are a vast number of short courses being offered which are all aiding to the development of the vocational workers in the country. We sincerely hope that this can be reviewed once the operation of the levy collection is running. It is of note that in a survey carried-out by the NEF during 2012, 83% of the respondents asked for short courses to be allowed for reclaiming” the NEF said.