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Telecom sets aside N$25m for skills training

Telecom Namibia has budgeted N$25 million for its internship and apprenticeship programme to hone the skills of the trainees and prepare them for the industry, the chief executive officer of Telecom Stanley Shanapinda has said.

The programme, which was launched in Windhoek on Wednesday, saw 35 young Namibians absorbed into the Telecom workforce in the first phase.

Speaking at the event, Shanapinda said strategically investing in training programmes ensures a skilled workforce to drive the telecommunications company’s future success.

“These trainees will learn from experienced professionals, bridging the skills gap and ensuring continuity in key roles,” he said.

He said although many regions are represented, he would like to see young Namibians from the San community participate in the programme.

The onboarding programme comes in two phases: the first phase involves 35 participants who were selected this month, while the second phase is set to start in September and will see the onboarding of 48 young Namibians .

Telecom aims to create job opportunities for young Namibians and fill vacancies created by long-serving employees going on retirement.

This skills transfer and on-the-job training happens through job shadowing and practical skills sharing.

Peter Katjavivi, the speaker of the National Assembly, who also attended the event, highlighted the importance of collaboration in tackling unemployment.

“Like many shared national challenges, youth unemployment requires collective intervention from all of us across the national divide, the government, the public and private sectors,” said Katjavivi.

One of the beneficiaries of the programme, Benitta Helao, a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) graduate from the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre touched on the stereotypes and stigma that surround vocational training.

“People think that vocational training is for those who performed poorly in academics, but your career choice should be driven by your passion. And there is nothing wrong with going to a vocational training centre,” said Helao.

Another beneficiary, Festus Naingwendje, a bachelor of engineering graduate from the Kavango East region said: “Through our induction, we have become familiarised with the complex and efficient machine that Telecom is.”

Telecom will onboard five engineers-in-training, five engineering technicians-in-training, nine IP/IT technicians-in-training, 40 apprentices, and 24 interns in both phases.