Namibia: NYS, Environment Ministry Reaches Out to Jobless Trainees

22 October 2020

National Youth Service (NYS) Commissioner Felix Musukubili has said given the unemployment rate in the country, particularly among the youth, not all NYS former trainees have secured employment or can create self-employment.

The youth service has trained over 5 300 young people in various programmes over the years.

It offers three-phased youth training programmes. Although the NYS has trained over 5 300 youth in various training programmes, many of them remain jobless.

The NYS was established in terms of the National Youth Service Act, 2005 with the mandate to provide civic, technical and vocational training, personal development programmes and opportunities for voluntary services to the youth.

The civic training programme is aimed at transforming the youth from common civilian behaviours to committed and productive citizens by instilling discipline and a sense of civic responsibility and loyalty to the country.

The second programme is voluntary service, aimed at promoting social responsibility amongst the youth.

Trainees are deployed across the country on projects of national importance which in turn contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. The last programme is the skills training, aimed at equipping the youth with technical vocational skills in various trades from level 1-3.

All of NYS's technical and vocational education and training programmes are accredited by the National Training Authority and National Qualification Authority.

As part of its effort to create opportunities for the graduate, NYS has signed a MoU with the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism. The agreement provides a framework for cooperation and successful implementation of joint projects by NYS and the ministry.

The origin of MoU dates back to the 12th National Youth Week, which was held last year in Kamanjab under the theme "Namibian Youth - United for Wildlife Conservation".

During that week, the environment ministry engaged with representatives from the youth across the country in undertaking practical activities linked to mitigating human-wildlife conflict and maintaining the Etosha National Park boundary fence.

"We identified so many areas there where the ministry needs the skills and passion of the youth in its operations," said Teofilus Nghitila, the executive director for the environment ministry.

Nghitila explained the ministry has developed two important programmes to do just that - namely the Friends of the Parks Programme and the National Parks Youth Internship Programme.

These programmes seek to involve and empower the youth in a broad range of activities linked to the management of national parks.

Already under the Friends of the Parks Programme, the NYS has provided valuable support and assistance to the ministry concerning the repair and maintenance of the Etosha National Park fence.

The ministry is also committed to establishing the national park's youth internship programme by offering internship opportunities to the youth in activities linked to the day-to-day management of the protected areas.

"This will include manning the entrance gates to our national parks, managing and assisting park visitors; anti-poaching activities such as patrolling and monitoring; maintenance and repair of critical infrastructures such as fencing, roads, signage, vehicles and water holes; as well as wildlife breeding, capture and translocation," Nghitila said.

Musukubili who signed on behalf of NYS said the MoU presents a great opportunity for the youth service trainees to contribute to the conservation and protection of the country's wildlife resources.

"Hence the majority of our graduates continue to remain on our database of unemployed former NYS trainees. It is for this reason, consented deliberate efforts must be undertaken to create employment opportunities for the youth, be it full-time employment, contractual or self-employment," Musukubili said.

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