NYS: We provide skills, not employment

The National Youth Service (NYS) recently accepted a total of 495 Namibian youth into its seventh edition of the training programme meant to prepare them for the job market.
The new recruits are currently in phase one of the programme, which began at the beginning of June at the Ondangwa training centre. This three-month long phase is called ‘the civic training’. It is aimed at uplifting the general level of discipline among the recruits and instilling a sense of patriotism.
Through this programme, trainees are expected to develop good physical and mental endurance, as well as exemplary moral and ethical characters. After this, they move onto phase two, which also spans for three more months.
It is during this phase of training dubbed the National Voluntary Service that recruits are posted to serve on various projects around the country.
The manager for corporate communications and public relations, Johanna Kambala, says the NYS’s mandate is not to provide the Namibian youth with employment but to prepare them for the job market - whether as self-employees or employed workers - by equipping them with the relevant skills. To date, 427 NYS trainees have secured employment in Government ministries.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) - amongst other stakeholders, as well as authorities at local and national levels - is one of the beneficiaries of this programme following an agreement the NYS entered into with them.
Kambala says they are often faced with lack of infrastructure and financial resources to meet their demands, especially because the Service offers its training programme to the youth free of charge.
The NYS, which has only been in operation since 2008, deploys recruits to major hospitals and other medical centres around the country to carry out non-nursing services, such as packing medicine in the pharmacies, cleaning and doing administrative work.
Beside the basic military drilling meant for disciplinary character moulding, recruits are also taught about the Namibian constitution, various Government policies and programmes.
“After this stage, the recruits will move onto the last phase of the programme, which aims at imparting skills. This training is offered for a period of two to three years depending on the trade and levels being offered,” says Kambala, adding, “The trainees are compelled to undertake several subjects, including Information, Communication Technology Fundamentals, Entrepreneurship, Technical Drawing, Mathematics, Engineering Science, Building Science and Communications.”
Of the 3 599 youth who have benefitted from the NYS training programme, 525 have graduated with certificates in various vocational trades the NYS offers in partnership with other institutions.
The organisation has also entered into agreements with various institutions - both private and public - to facilitates job attachment, which is requisite for all the trades.
Aside from the fact that the Service plans to establish training centres in all the 13 regions, Kampala further reveals the NYS is currently constructing a new college at Rietfontein, which will be completed towards the end of this year. The new college will accommodate approximately 800 trainees.