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Namport’s Catch-Them-Young program to reduce number of foreign expats

by Kelvin Chiringa

State entity, Namport’s Catch-Them-Young flagship program is estimated to capacitate Namibians with technical skills through maritime studies in order to take over jobs currently held by foreign expats, human resources executive Felix Musukubuli has said. 

The program covers a period of three years under which only the best performing students who would have scored outstandingly are sent to maritime schools in South Africa where they continue from grade 10 to 12.

These students are scouted from Namibia’s rural areas and undergo interviews in which only the best four are taken in.

 Upon completion of their studies in South Africa, they are then channeled to universities where they undertake studies in maritime engineering and piloting.

“So far we have sent about eight students in Cape Town because currently Namibia does not have any institution specialising in maritime. I hear, however that there is something in the pipeline to have those here in Namibia,” said Musukubuli.

He said at the moment, Namport has a large number of foreign expatriates and the idea is to gradually release some in order to accommodate qualified Namibians in their stead.

“When you are approaching Walvis Bay you will see a lot of vessels which by law can not come on their own in the port. It is a requirement that a Namibia pilot must go and get the vessels and bring them into the port. So these are the future engineers at Namport,’ he said. 

On top of this, the entity also offers fully covered bursaries and living allowances for Namibians undergoing training under its ambit.

To date, about 86 students have benefited with the entity having coughed out an estimated N$800 000. 

Currently two Masters students from Namport are studying Transport and Logistics in Europe as part of the general endeavour to mainstream Namibians within the logistical sector of the country.

This also tallies well for a country chasing after an industrialisation vision that envisages the transformation into a regional logistical hub.