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Careers expo launches midst lingering youth unemployment

by Kelvin Chiringa

Namibia’s 10th careers expo has been launched and is set to roar to life from the 19th to the 20th of June at the Windhoek country club and is expected to host over 40 exhibitors from universities, parastatals and companies from within and outside the country.

The expo has always been a platform to motivate young people that want to follow their career path yet this year it comes as more who are being churned out of higher institutions of learning and vocational training centres are being left out in the cold of joblessness.

“It is at this juncture in the journey of the Namibia careers expo we need to thank and acknowledge the effort of the government for taking aggressive policy instruments since independence while also ensuring commendable literacy rates, and access to education.”

“The fact remains that government still can not do it alone. Responsible and patriotic citizens and the private sector needs to hold hands if we are to equip our young learners and graduates to take themselves and this country to the next level of development,” said chairperson of the expo, Jason Kasuto.

The annual event is hosted in Windhoek, Walvish bay and Ongwediva and approximately 3 500 learners have been attracted to it.

A national symposium on education and career development and employment will also be held themed on the infusion of market demand, ICT, vocational education, early childhood development, the role of parents, morality and ethics.

“It will take place as a complementary event to the exposition and will bring together key and relevant stakeholders in training and education sector, policy makers, key experts, the private sector as well as educators to address the national skills shortage and the youth unemployment rate,” he said.

It is envisaged to bring out tangible resolutions as well as aligning industry and education to the national development plans looking at relevant skills and the human capital required for the goal of achieving an industrialised nation.

“I am also excited to announce that the Namibia careers expo team will be launching a mobile and web-enable application, Great Match Namibia. It aims to address what we have uncovered from our research.

“The system is designed to address the challenges facing the Namibia education space, namely the digital divide, access to information pertaining to higher learning institutions,” he said.

Speaking at the launch, president of the Namibia National Students Organisation (NANSO) Ester Simon urged the expo to be decentralised to more regions.

Director of Education, Gerard Vries indicated that students and stakeholders ought to approach the debate around unemployment constructively and avoid aggression.

“The optimism of Namibian young people, they are very specific about their beliefs and they articulate it very strongly. And we have been at pains in the schools to shy away from aggression, you must debate the issues. So there is a lot of work still to find ways of how to accommodate and possibly open up avenues for retraining,” he said.