August 26 Manufacturing empowering Namibian youth through clothing production

August 26 Manufacturing has commenced its first-ever apprenticeship program to empower Namibian youth. The program encouraged youth from different backgrounds to apply, including individuals from marginalized communities and women. The apprenticeship aims to provide essential skills in clothing production. This initiative combines practical on-the-job training with classroom instruction to equip young people with technical expertise and industry knowledge.

The three-year apprenticeship program at August 26 Manufacturing, started on April 1, 2024, and will train apprentices in clothing production, manufacturing, stitching, and quality control. The program balances 70% hands-on training at the manufacturing facility with 30% classroom-based learning from a registered training institution. This dual approach ensures apprentices acquire both practical skills and the theoretical foundations necessary for long-term success in the clothing production sector.

The Namibia Training Authority (NTA) approved apprenticeships will ensure that the eight apprentices receive nationally recognized training and certification. The apprenticeship has three levels of certification, this phased approach allows participants to build their expertise gradually.  The Namibian clothing manufacturing industry needs skilled workers who can make uniforms, safety gear and other clothing to a high standard. This will allow locally made manufactured garments to compete with imported clothing and grow Namibia’s manufacturing base and its economy.

Desideria Gideon, Marketing and Communication Officer at August 26 Manufacturing, highlighted the program’s impact, saying, “As apprentices move through the program, they will develop a robust understanding of clothing production, gain practical skills, and enhance their problem-solving abilities essential for addressing production challenges.”

The company aims to expand the apprenticeship program to accommodate more apprentices in the future, further contributing to skills development in Namibia. Empowering marginalized groups and making them ready to become productive members of the Namibian workforce.  The progress and success of the program will be measured using a logbook provided by the NTA. Each apprentice will be closely monitored and be given the training and guidance needed so they can succeed in their apprenticeship. This method ensures the program meets its objectives and allows for continual improvement based on feedback and outcomes.

“We believe that empowering youth with these skills not only enhances their career prospects but also strengthens the future of Namibia’s manufacturing industry. Our commitment to this apprenticeship program is a testament to our dedication to youth empowerment and skill development,” added Gideon.

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