CATS programme beneficial

The Commercial Advancement Training Scheme is a dual apprenticeship training for school leavers and employees.

26 October 2021 | Education

Marlyne Illonga; Graduate; “The company made sure that I had a great support system that continuously checked in on me…”

Manica Namibia has been affiliated with the Commercial Advancement Training Scheme (CATS) programme since 2005, and has had over 39 intakes, with an impressive pass rate and stellar academic achievements throughout the years. Manica also had two executive members acting as chairperson for the CATS programme.

The two-year programme provides dual apprenticeship training to both school leavers and employees wanting to further their professional careers. The CATS programme was founded by a group of internationally oriented Namibian companies who were seeking to build and strengthen local capacity without losing staff and school leavers to lengthy and costly foreign study programmes in 2005.

Over the last 16 years, over 30 companies have invested in CATS, with more than 200 students having entered the programme to become part of a skilled and employable workforce.
Students are employed by one of the member companies for two years. During this time they receive both practical and theoretical training. Their practical training is acquired by on-the-job-training apprenticeship at their placed company and their theoretical education by studying business subjects at the Namibia University of Science and Technology.

Manica boasts an impressive alumnus of graduates, with graduates receiving permanent employment within the group. Many have grown within the ranks and some have reached senior levels, as well as being integral members of the team. Marlyne Illonga, a 2014 graduate and current Administrative Assistant at Rennies Consolidated, said that she will be forever indebted to Manica. “The company made sure I had a great support system that continuously checked in on me, making sure that I was progressing well at NUST and receiving suitable exposure at work for my practical training, which they financed. I have been financially independent since the age of 18, thanks of Manica’s support. I have, technically, never been unemployed and for that I am most grateful, as so many young people have qualifications but struggle to secure employment.” Hellena Ruben, a 2018 graduate and current Ships Agent and Quality Officer at OLS, said that if it wasn’t for the great atmosphere and the endless growth opportunities she received at Manica, she most likely would have dropped out of the CATS programme. “Manica provided me with mentors that kept me motivated, mentors that made me see how the CATS programme is of great benefit, and how to apply what is taught in the lecture hall at work.”

The new class for 2021/2022 started in July 2021. Manica is proud to watch the CATS programme grow from strength to strength and the achievements that its graduates achieve.
“We look forward to being a supporter and member for many years to come”, the company stated.