The National Youth Service (NYS) Commissioner has stressed the vital role of stakeholders’ engagement towards promoting the development of the youth.
In an interview with The Villager on the sidelines of the First Stakeholders’ Conference held in Windhoek last week, Commissioner Onesmus Upindi said stakeholders should understand their role in the NYS and contribute in its development as a team.
“We need to get all the stakeholders’ views mainly the youngsters issues and views to be able to address them hence the platform such as this are essential in order to share all concerns,” Upindi said.
He pointed out that it is necessary to take examples from other countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.
Mandela Kapere, NYS board chairperson said currently the national service has an intake of 600 youths annually but has set a target of 5000 youth by 2014.
Upindi further noted during his presentation that the main challenges are limited capital and unemployment.
Statistics from Daniel Motinga group chief economist for FNB pointed out that 60% of the youth (16-34) in Namibia are unemployed.
Motinga emphasised that the unemployment issue in the country is quite grave.
“In order to address the overall unemployment in the country, there is need to target youth unemployment first of all. I trust that there is scope to broaden vocational development to train more youth. However, the youth need to be able to create employment for themselves as well. There is a need to emphasise on the entrepreneurship skills of the Namibian youth, formal employment is limited so they should develop skills for self employment.
“Furthermore, companies should open more internship for graduates to acquire experience,” Motinga advised.
Motinga added that more educational funding should go toward technical educational as it will empower the youth to self employment with practical skills.
Kapere, NYS board chairperson during the conference stressed that that policies in the country do not recognise youth unemployment as a national challenge.
“The NDP4 does not address youth unemployment. It stresses on growing the economy hence increasing jobs. However, the NDP4 does not address the issue behind the rising youth unemployment which should be addressed head on,” Kapere says.
Employment is one of the objectives of the NYS and has already facilitated the employment of 587 youth in various organisations.
However, Upindi called on all private and public sectors in the country to be more involved in giving job opportunities to the NYS graduates.
Talking at the conference on behalf of his line minister, Pohamba Shifeta, deputy minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture also made the call on all partners to take part in the development of youth.
“I wish to call upon the public, private sector and the business community at large to come on board as partners with the National Youth Service by offering NYS trainees on job training opportunities to carry out their practical and furthermore offer these trainees employment once they complete their studies. This way they can all play a role in reducing the high rate of unskilled labour in Namibia.”
The National youth service which started in 2008 with an intake of around 3000 youth has managed to have 703 youth graduating from various training institution such as University of Namibia, Vocational training, International training Solution, Onandjokwe Health training Center.
NYS further partners with international institution such as Tshwane south College and some Zimbabwean college in order to further professional skills of the youth recruited in the NYS as presented by Selma Ambunda, NYS executive training and development.