FirstRand Namibia has launched the FirstJob Internship Programme in line with the leading financial services group’s purpose and broader Namibian talent development drive, and especially towards starting to address the cries of the many Namibian graduates without work and professional mentorship.
FirstJob, a programme focused on kick-starting a career to change a life, is a 12-months internship contract for unemployed graduates, focusing on improving the employability of successful candidates.
Throughout the programme, previously unemployed graduates will have an opportunity to build workplace confidence and competence through contributing their learning and perspectives to business objectives and deliverables within RMB and FNB Namibia.
Conrad Dempsey, CEO: FirstRand Namibia said “opportunities for young, qualified graduates are extremely limited, especially when companies keep turning them down if they don’t have experience. Lack of opportunities for graduates in Namibia have negatively impacted lifelong earnings’ ability, economic growth and social cohesion, and exacerbate an increasing pension and healthcare funding gap”.
“FirstRand Namibia recognises its responsibility to deliver both financial value and positive social outcomes for the country. In all business fields, people are its single most important resource and as the foremost digital banking and financial services group, our companies, including FNB Namibia and RMB, are committed to offering real help where it is needed most.
A programme such as this requires more than funding, and while more than N$3 million will be spent over the next year to fully engage the final 20 participants in this first pilot year of existence, FirstJob’s success will be mostly dependent on the various divisions within the group’s commitment of time, effort, engagement and programme management daily to ensure that the time spent with us is useful, meaningful and relevant”.
“In a year’s time, we aim to be excitedly sharing that FirstJobbers, having come through this immersive and intensive programme, are highly sought-after value contributors to Namibia’s growth trajectory”, he added.
Also speaking at the event, Daisry Mathias, Presidential Advisor: Youth and Enterprise Development, applauded FirstRand Namibia on the work-integrated learning programme for graduates, which was aligned to one of the numerous initiatives that Government was driving to absorb the many trained, talented and capable young people into the formal labour market.
She added: “Government is also looking at curriculum reform, and establishing a stronger partnership between industry and the institutions of higher learning, and we want on-demand training.”
She said she was not focused on youth unemployment, but rather on solutions.
“The solutions are better education, work-integrated learning and a transition from training into labour; and the solutions are also enterprise development, job creation and entrepreneurship.”
Isdor Angula, Chief Human Resourcse Officer: FirstRand Namibia added that identifying, assisting and advancing the careers of fellow Namibians has always been part of the FirstRand Namibia strategy.
“Through the group’s franchises and brands FNB Namibia, RMB, Ashburton and WesBank, we have always endeavoured to implement best-practice talent management programmes to identify, develop, select and advance a diverse talent pool – a talent pool fit to execute Group strategy - a strategy driven by the desire to help build a globally competitive Namibia.”
Applications to form part of the pilot first-year intake of 20 interns to the FirstJob Programme are open to all unemployed, but degreed, Namibians between the ages of 18 and 31 in the fields of finance, business, process engineering, project management, data sciences/applied mathematics, marketing, political sciences, economics, banking, robotics, law and compliance risk management.
Applications are open until 6 December 2021 to begin at either RMB or FNB Namibia in January 2022.