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  • Armin Wieland

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

It’s easy to daydream about a better future. It’s much harder to roll up your sleeves and find a practical way to help the next generation of Namibians succeed. Not only is this exactly what the members of The Commercial Advancement Training Scheme (CATS) did, but now they’re motivating other companies to do the same.

In 2005 two key issues plagued the Namibian business landscape. There were talented school leavers with no work experience and no funds for tertiary education. Companies needed to hire well-trained employees but skills development was not keeping up with business growth.

A group of forward-thinking companies came together and started brainstorming some solutions to these problems. Inspired by the training schools of Europe, they introduced the dual education system, CATS, to the Namibian business world.

Over the next 10 years, over 30 companies, ranging from small to industry-leading businesses, invested in this program. Not only did they help over 200 students build fulfilling careers, but they quickly saw a return on their investment.

Trainees are exposed to different departments and skills

These companies were able to hire skilled employees with valuable on-the-job training, join ranks with other formidable business leaders, uplift the skills of their current employees, and in a tangible way show their commitment to building a strong Namibian economy.

So how can you join this list of respected companies that keep working with the CATS programme, year after year, thanks to the real-world value and success it provides them?

There are two ways to get involved. The first is to become a more passive Associated Member or Affiliated Member. The second is to become an Active CATS Member who is practically involved in the training program and the benefits attached to it.

How to become an Active Member:

  1. Sign up to be a CATS member

  2. Decide how many students you are willing to train at your facility

  3. Choose your trainees from a preselected list of accepted students

  4. Get help and guidance from CATS as you implement this training program

  5. Get the option of permanently hiring these skilled trainees after 2 years

So if you’re interested in helping your business, as well as the Namibian economy grow, read more here:

Sign up today to become a CATS Member:


Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Imagine you’ve just finished writing your final exams and your privileged friends have already paid their university entrance fees or started an internship at their rich uncle's dealership. You’re bright, motivated, and want to work for your success, but who’s going to give you a chance?

Now imagine you run a profitable business. You’ve put in the hours to build something amazing from the ground up. You go the extra mile for your employees and wish to inspire a happy, well-trained workforce to grow with your business. Where do you find employees as passionate as you are?

The solution to both problems is The Commercial Advancement Training Scheme (CATS), a not-for-gain company that brings businesses and talented young people together to the benefit of both. School leavers are matched with CATS member companies and start a dual training system.

It’s impossible to put into words what it means to a super bright student to get the chance to study, for free, at the Namibia University of Science and Technology or earn an allowance while they train at industry-leading companies for two years.

From Monday to Thursday trainees rotate through different departments of the company under a mentor and supervisor and on Friday and half-day Saturday they study for either a two-year Diploma in Business Process Management or a one-year Certificate in Supervisory Skills Development.

It’s also far from an altruistic decision on the part of the companies. After two years, they can choose to hire, highly skilled employees that understand the company culture and values and who are invested in the growth of the business. Other benefits like being able to apply for vocational training grants and creating trust-building awareness are also great perks.

So, if you’re a young person, dreaming of a fulfilling career, who just needs a chance to prove yourself, apply for the CATS program here:

If you’re a company that wants to promote economic growth through skills development and literally change the lives of those living in your community, then look into the benefits of becoming a CATS member here:

Sign up to become a CATS Member here:

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