Staff Writer

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) says it’s making progress in giving effect to an apprenticeship funding agreement it entered into with the Namibia Training Authority (NTA), earlier this year.

The agreement makes provision for the NTA to fund the apprenticeship training of 80 young Namibians, recruited from all fourteen regions, towards acquiring the National Vocational Certificate in Hospitality and Tourism qualification in the areas of ‘Core Commercial Cookery Skills’, ‘Food and Beverage Operations’, ‘Front Office Operations ’and ‘Housekeeping Operations’.

Underlining the need for continuous investment in training to enhance the competitiveness of the Hospitality and Tourism sector, NWR Managing Director, Dr Matthias Ngwangwama described the apprenticeship partnership as an important step.

“A competitive tourism sector requires continuous training, with a special focus on customer service. Over the years, we fulfilled this responsibility on an ad-hoc basis. However, with the financial support emanating from the NTA-funded apprenticeship programme, we are now able to gain better traction in doing our part to train Namibians in this important economic growth sector,” he said.

NTA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Cornelis Beuke commended NWR for giving effect to the agreement.

“Apprenticeship is a time-tested channel through which to provide young people with opportunities to enter high-value work-based learning. The NTA has of recent entered into many such agreements with other public and private sector partners. NWR did well amid COVID-19 to firm up arrangements, and we look forward to the first graduates from this initiative to enter the world of work with confidence and competence. Furthermore, Mr Beuke explained that “as an employer, NWR, by investing in talent development through apprenticeship, stands to gain a pipeline of loyal skilled workers to increase its productivity and improve the bottom line,” said Beuke.

The NTA is expected to fund each apprentice at the cost of N$ 160,800.00 over three years. As far as theoretical work and assessment preparation are concerned, the apprentices will receive support from two NTA-registered training institutions, namely the Okakarara Vocational Training Centre, in Otjozondjupa and the Homestead Skills and Technical Skills Academy, in the Ohangwena region.

Meanwhile, NWR said it’s making strong inroads towards establishing its training arm, Namibia Wildlife Resorts Hospitality Institute (NWR Hi) is to have its main campus at the Khorixas Rest Camp in the Kunene region and a satellite campus at the Gross Barmen Resort in Otjozondjupa. “We recently applied to the NTA to be registered as a training institution, and we are hard at work to ensure that we meet the requirements”, Ngwangwama said.