Despite Namibia’s steady economic growth in recent years, high unemployment persists, particularly among young people. At the same time, there is a shortage of qualified specialists. This is the result of, among other things, poor institutional structures for vocational training, lack of quality controls, and a scarcity of in-company training. The Namibia Training Authority (NTA) is tasked with developing a national vocational training system that qualifies skilled workers for the country’s expanding economy. Since 2012 the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has been supporting the NTA through the Project for Promotion of Vocational Education and Training (ProVET). This project aims to systematically strengthen core processes, from the identification of requirements for skilled workers to the implementation of demand-oriented training programmes.
Education is key to opening up professional and economic prospects for young people. This applies as much in Bremen as it does in partner countries in the Global South. For decades Bremen has been cooperating closely with Namibia to support its sustainable development and its efforts to improve local living conditions. Within this framework, vocational education and training can play a significant role, leading Bremen to support partners in Namibia with its expertise in this field. Support comes from the University of Bremen’s Institute of Technology and Education (ITB), which is an internationally experienced provider of training courses and curriculum development, and the Competence Center for Trade and Crafts, which is known for its practice-oriented methods of imparting knowledge.
In the cooperation between Bremen and the ProVET project, the Namibian automotive-sector training programme was selected as the basis for building a model that the country’s Vocational Training Centers can follow. ITB experts examined the training centers’ existing structural capacities and available human resources, and provided suggestions for improvements. Bremen’s central contribution is the training of instructors through a methodical approach to learning and work assignments. Trainings are held in Namibia and Bremen. In Bremen the training residencies are carried out in cooperation with the cross-company trade and crafts training center, illustrating the integration of the German economy with vocational training.