NAMIBIA will embark upon a skills survey in May this year, the deputy minister of labour and social welfare, Alphaus Muheua, told the National Assembly (NA) this week.
The survey is aimed at assessing the country's skills shortage and needs in order to identify the critical areas for developing training opportunities. It will further help to identify areas where the country needs to import foreign experts.
The deputy minister's announcement comes just over a week after the ruling Swapo Party used its parliamentary majority to quash a motion of a similar nature submitted by Peter Naholo of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP).
Naholo's motion called for a register of all professionally qualified and educated Namibians. He argued that such a database would go a long way towards addressing the skills deficit in the country.
However, Naholo's motion did not go down well with Swapo parliamentarians because of his jibes at the ruling party during his motivation. He charged that Swapo favours its supporters over better qualified candidates in the appointment of senior positions in government.
Muhehua said this week that the country could be importing skills that it already has because of the lack of detailed data.
He said there is no proper coordination between the training and employment sectors at present.
"We have a pool of trained people in easy and unnecessary disciplines, while in other critical areas of our economy we lack the people to do the jobs," Muhehua said.
He said it is unacceptable that the country continues to make use of the services of expatriates in specialised jobs while it could train its own people if only the available resources were applied efficiently.
He said creating a proper database of skills would help decision-makers to plan the country's education priorities properly.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, the National Planning Commission, the National Statistics Agency and the International Organisation for Migration will be involved in the survey.