8 February 2013

Namibia: Turning Candidates Into Real Bankers

Bank Windhoek's Candidate Bankers Trainee Class was officially launched this Tuesday at their offices in Windhoek. The class of 2013 consists of 11 eager candidates sourced from across the country. The programme teaches the young students the fundamental principles of banking so that they may enter a career in banking. The CBT Programme is presented at no cost to the students and they each receive a Candidate Bankers Diploma upon successful completion of the 6-month programme.

"The CBT programme is in its 17th year and this is a clear sign of Bank Windhoek's commitment towards a sustained and integrated approach to education. Bank Windhoek is proud of the 500 candidates who have graduated from this programme since its inception, and hopes to witness a continued growth in graduates in the future," said Elize Fahl, Executive Officer for Group Human Resources who spoke with much delight at the launch of the 6-month programme.

Although in its 17th year, this will be the 21st CBT group, as since 2006, Bank Windhoek has presented two CBT courses per year due to the great demand for banking training. Speaking to the Economist, Markquin van der Westhuizen, one of the new trainees explained why he applied and what he hopes to achieve. "I applied at the beginning of last year. I am studying at Polytechnic entering my second year of Btech Economics. My interest lies in the fact that after I have graduated I will not have the problem that most graduates face of unemployment. By the time I finish my course I will already have experience. I can specialize within this programme. This course is full time. Fortunately, I have managed to put my courses at the Polytechnic on distance learning."

Elaborating on his career expectations, he said "I have always wanted to work for a bank. I have had several interviews at the other banks already. Two weeks back I got accepted based on the interview that we had in December. The course is completely free. If one quits though, you have to pay for the course. The idea being the student can take the skills he gathered to a competing firm. For those who pass they have the opportunity to work for Bank Windhoek."

The candidates are not Bank Windhoek employees yet, but have the potential to become full-time employees based on their performance and successful completion of the programme. Fillimon Ngairo, Head of Learning and Development spoke to the Economist concerning the actual programme "The programme focusses on bank operations. The students are introduced to the banking environment to learn about strategic concepts in banking. The centre provides the opportunity for the candidates to understand the ins and outs of the bank's financial system as well. The graduates can work as tellers, in client services or even as sales advisors depending on where they have shown prowess. Some of the facilitators of this year's course were previous students and can therefore provide key pointers to the learners. There are in fact several employees of the bank who have gone through the programme."

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