Chinese enterprise trains young Namibians on industrial skills

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China

Professional training offered by a Chinese enterprise in Namibia is catapulting Namibian youth into specialized vocations.

For 33-years old Dosantos Vakundeni, irregular work was a distinct aspect of his career. Fortunately for him, he joined Nami Prefabricated Housing CC, a Chinese-invested manufacturing company operating in Namibia.

There, through extensive training offered, he found a specialized occupation in the engineering field. Expert technicians provided complimentary on-site and technical training on manufacturing aspects, including prefabricated panels’ installation precision.

“When I first joined the company in September 2014, I was trained along with other employees. The project manager explained the company culture and each position’s responsibilities carefully to us.

The training and job helped me a lot in pursuing my career, allowed me to gain hands-on skills,” said Vakundeni, who is employed as an engineering assistant at the company.

Over time, training has enabled him to execute multiple duties. These include assisting the design management in modifying the design plan based on clients’ requirements, managing materials of project progress and inspection, liaison between clients and various departments, and responding to the problems and emergencies encountered during the construction.

Vakundeni has since seized more opportunities at the company. Since joining Nami Prefabricated Housing CC, skills acquired have also propelled him into leadership and supervisory roles.

“I embrace working with diverse people as one gains different skills, varied insights, values, attitudes and experiences. For me, those diverse insights contributed to versatility and helped me to think in a different way to solve problems faced,” he said on Saturday.

Additionally, the Chinese-invested company exposed Vakundeni to the ethos of the Chinese people’s hard work and professional etiquette in engineering management, which he aspires to nurture continuously.

Gu Di, a manager at the Nami Prefabricated Housing Company, said that the company, which has employed more than 250 workers, prioritizes training as part of its human capital development pillars.

“We conduct training for employees to ensure that they understand the fundamental knowledge related to their work. Understanding work knowledge enables employees to be familiar with work, identify and address mistakes promptly to improve working efficiency,” Gu said.

What’s more, said Gu, the training program intended to shift employees’ attitudes, build mutual trust, promote teamwork, and eliminate cultural barriers.

“In brief, training, a way to increase a company’s output, a way to unite company and employees, is one of the most important elements during the process of the company’s development in the long term,” he said.

Intrinsically, the approach has enabled employees like Vakundeni to be solution-driven despite the effects of COVID-19 on the construction sector. Namibia’s construction sector recorded more than 30,000 job losses due to COVID-19 in 2020.

“Due to COVID-19, every sector was hard-hit, especially the construction industry. However, we prepare ourselves to find solutions to counter the difficulties and challenges we face at this interval and prepare ourselves for the next challenges,” Vakundeni said.

In the long run, the company’s strategy also aids in addressing unemployment amongst the youth populace in the country. Official records by the Namibia Statistics Agency show that Namibians’ unemployment rate between the ages of 15 and 34 years increased to 46 percent in 2018 from 43.4 percent in 2016.

Moreover, according to Gu, the company’s role in empowering Namibians in the various fields supports the roll-out of various frameworks and programmes of the Chinese government such as the Belt and Road Initiative and China-Africa community with a shared future.

Thus, as a construction and manufacturing company, the emphasis is on developing high-quality infrastructure in Namibia.

“Our goal is to stimulate the development of construction industry equitably and provide employees positions, especially those who specialize in such fields as electricity, plumbing, joinery, and contribute to social development and address the housing shortage in all spheres of Namibian society,” Gu added.

While Vakundeni also sees his job as a great contributor to mutual beneficial China-Namibia cooperation and development agenda.

In the interim, with the wealth of knowledge gained at Nami Prefabricated Housing Company, Vakundeni hopes to tap onto the international market.

“I would like to learn more about construction regulations in different countries as it is indispensable to becoming an eminent competitor in the construction field. Hopefully, I can be an engineering manager in five years, ” Vakundeni concluded.

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