The 27th of March is a very special day on the corporate calendar. Exchange Day is dedicated to the free exchange of ideas, where individuals come together to share their insights and perspectives on how to grow their businesses and better serve their communities while doing so. It's a day to celebrate the power of collaboration and cooperation and to recognize the important role that trading ideas play in driving progress and innovation.
This day was inspired by three core values: family, community, and country. As such it aligns perfectly with what the Commercial Advancement Training Scheme (CATS) aims to achieve. Their mission is to empower and develop young individuals with skills and knowledge that can benefit not only themselves but also their families, communities, and ultimately, their country.
One way you can honour Exchange Day is to support the CATS program and the students they uplift. This dual training scheme provides both school leavers and employees with the opportunity to further their professional careers. The program is a private initiative by the Namibian industry and currently consists of 21 member companies.
CATS offers two theoretical training options: a two-year Diploma in Business Process Management and a one-year Certificate in Supervisory Skills Development. The program involves practical and theoretical training, where students are employed by one of the CATS member companies for two years. During this time, they receive on-the-job training at the company for four days a week, while the remaining one and a half days are dedicated to theoretical training provided by the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).
The practical training component of the CATS program involves rotating through different departments of the business under the guidance of a mentor and supervisor. This provides students with a comprehensive understanding of how the company operates and helps them develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their careers. Companies almost always choose to hire these highly experienced individuals after their 2-year training period is completed.
What better way to celebrate Exchange Day than by making sure talented mentors find eager learners who eventually turn into advisors themselves, creating jobs and changing the Namibian skill development landscape for the better? By investing in the education and training of our youth, we are investing in the future of our communities and the country as a whole.
The CATS program is an excellent example of how the private sector can work together to create opportunities for young people and contribute to the country's development while their businesses and bottom lines actively benefit.
How can you support the CATS program?
The CATS program offers three types of memberships for companies interested in partnering with them: Active, Associated, and Affiliated.
Active members take in CATS students as trainees for four days a week and provide theoretical training for one and a half days a week. After completion of the program, the student can become a highly trained employee at the company or enter the job market.
Associated and Affiliated members are interested in the CATS program but feel they can't currently offer traineeship but are willing to help in other ways.
If you or your business is interested in helping the CATS program give our youth a brighter future please fill in this quick and easy form found below: