The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Swakopmund Municipality and various other stakeholders, held its annual career fair, drawing hordes of learners and community members from all the constituencies of the region.
The fair, which ended Friday, 13 May at the Swakopmund Multipurpose Centre, is aimed at exposing learners to all the potential careers they could pursue once they complete secondary school education.
Cosdec, Namibian Uranium Association, Reptile Mineral Resources and Exploration are among 20 institutions of note that presented the myriad of career options available.
Additionally, the career fair, held under the theme ‘Reinventing Career Creativity’, also hosted daily panel discussions addressing issues that could potentially hamper learners’ career paths and advise them on how to navigate obstacles.
Delivering the keynote address on behalf Erongo governor Andre Neville Itope, his special advisor Michael Jimmy commended the organisers and institutions exhibiting at the fair for the initiative.
“This is a good opportunity for learners to be inspired, set their career goals, become creators and innovators,” he said.
He said it was a mutually beneficial initiative for potential employers as well because they are able to network with the strongest candidates for their institutions.
“Apart from white collar jobs, we also need to focus on blue collar jobs, we need designers, carpenters, plumbers… We can’t all be employees; we need to be employers. We all need to contribute to service and build our economy,” he stressed.
Deputy mayor of Swakopmund David Am-!Gabeb shared the governor’s sentiments, stating that initiatives such as the career fair aid in closing high unemployment gaps in that it inspires learners/students to potentially become entrepreneurs.
“I am pleased that this career fair is taking place because we do not only have exhibitors showcasing careers but we also have panel discussions with talking points addressing social ills that might hamper our learners’ lives,” Am-!Gabeb noted.
The exhibition centre was a hive of activity since the official opening, not only because of the learners and community members streaming in but also because the exhibitors were anxious to show off prospective careers. This excitement comes as a result of the fair having been suspended for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A permanent fixture since the fair inception, the Community Skills Development Centre (Cosdec) team was elated to finally be able to present its courses to the community as the numbers of new students have been dwindling in the past two years.
“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we had a low number of students enrolling, in turn, we had to drop a few courses that did not have sufficient students registered. The career fair always gives us a chance to get new students… We are proud to be part of this initiative,” Maria Nambundunga, a supervisor at Cosdec explained.