THE launch of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Employability Improvement Project (EIP), and the handover of training kit materials to students, took place recently at a colourful event at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).
The project aims to equip students with relevant soft and applied skills that will enhance their employability in the highly competitive labour market.
NUST has had several cooperation initiatives with the Japanese government and universities dating back to 1998.
The most recent collaboration involved a JICA team of experts working closely with Namibian officials and NUST staff to develop a curriculum for Employability Improvement Training. This resulted in NUST staff receiving training that will help them to equip students with hands-on knowledge. Training kits were also handed over to the trainees, who received certificates of competency.
“Human resource and skills development is one of the core areas for the government of Japan in its assistance to Africa, under the framework of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development,“ remarked Ms Rumiko Ishigami, the Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Japan.
Statistics indicate that Namibia’s youth unemployment is currently pegged at over 40 percent.
As one of the measures to address this, the Deputy-Minister of Higher education, Training and Innovation, Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, said: “One of the highest priorities of my Ministry is to ensure that our youth receive all the support they can get to improve their chances in life. Improving their employability is therefore, a critical and welcome intervention.”Dr Tjama Tjivikua, the NUST Vice-Chancellor said that higher education is increasingly being judged through the lens of graduate employability.
“In this endeavor, we have created partnership networks with other higher education institutions, industry and communities globally. Such cooperation is vital to our efforts to address the myriads of developmental challenges facing Namibia,” he added.
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