By Donna Collins
NAMPORT has invested N$28,6 million over the past six years in bursaries and scholarships including cadetship and apprenticeship schemes, all of which are targeted towards complementing Government efforts in skills development for the country.
This was said by the Namibia Ports Authority CEO Bisey Uirab during Namport’s first bursary day held at Walvis Bay recently, where 25 candidates were awarded bursaries and internships. The students received funding to undertake studies in the fields of engineering, law, logistics, finance, as well as vocational education and training.
He pointed out that Namport offers Graduate Development Programme (training) as a pathway to employment, and on completion of their studies, students are given the opportunity to begin careers at Namport in an environment that expands their personal/ professional development. The graduate programme is for a period of two years.
“In order to support the economic growth through the development of human resources of the country, Namport has developed a human resources strategic plan aimed at supporting and addressing the people element,” said Uirab.
“The aim is to develop and capacitate our human capital to have the required capacity reservoir to drive Namport and the country to our envisaged national goals of becoming a logistic hub and an industrialised country.”
“Our people play an important role in our business, and for this reason, we’ve invested substantial resources in the development and capacity building of our staff and prospective future employees over the past years,” he said
Vision 2030 stipulates that, “by 2030, Namibia will transition into an industrialised and globally competitive country of equal opportunity, realising its maximum growth potential in a sustainable manner, with improved quality of life for all Namibians”.
Uirab added that to achieve this ambitious goal, Namibia needs to develop human capital and build institutional capacity to absorb the labour force necessary to meet
the demands of the economy, and
address the problem of human resources skills and shortages across all industrial areas. The maritime sector is not an exception in this respect.
“Over the period stated above, we have awarded 30 external bursaries to Namibians to study at various institutions of higher learning, including but not limited to the University of Namibia, National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and including studies undertaken at foreign universities”.
He pointed out that to address specific maritime skills needs, the company sends its cadets to various maritime universities and colleges outside the country and thereafter attach them with various shipping vessels for the required sea time, before taking up their cadetship with Namport.
Maritime studies which include navigation and marine engineering require specialised training intervention funded through the company’s Seafarer Training Scheme. To date, six cadets have gone through this programme to prepare them to become pilots and marine engineers.
It was mentioned that the current port captain and marine manager both went through this programme and are fully qualified mariners.
“To aid this cadetship programme, we have invented a programme called Catch Them Young. This programme targets high performing grade 9 learners who progress to grade 10, and annually, two best performing learners are selected to continue their focused grade 10-12 in maritime studies”.
The programme is offered by the LawHill Maritime School in South Africa, and to date six learners have benefited from this programme with the first group already having completed the programme and are due to proceed to maritime universities next year.
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