A critical analysis of stakeholder engagement in skills development in Namibia.
Sheehamandje-Mwiya, Dalia Nefundja
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In recent years, stakeholder management is increasingly been discussed at national and international levels, primarily due to the many corporate failures across different services. Furthermore, companies are being held responsible for participation in broader social functions that extend beyond their normal routine responsibilities. This study investigates stakeholder engagement practices in skills development in Namibia, in view of the position of the Namibian Training Authority (NTA) as the custodian of skills development in Namibia. The study explores a number of challenges experienced in the process of stakeholder engagement ending with the recommendation for change. Furthermore, the research findings indicate that the current stakeholder engagement process is inclusive of a variety of stakeholders, however, the process is identified as having a number of challenges. The Level of Engagement model by Arnstein (1969) was used to determine the level of stakeholder engagement by the NTA, this found that a consultation approach was the most common. To improve the practice, it is proposed that the level of stakeholder engagement should be nurtured and progressed to the level of partnership, where all key players are recognised to play their part in determining what is fit for purpose. It was found that the current practice of stakeholder engagement at NTA varies from one activity to another and from one stakeholder group to another, leaving the process of engagement un-satisfactory for many stakeholders. A number of engagement challenges were identified by the study ranging from lack of recognition of stakeholders needs, lack of communication with stakeholders and poor involvement of stakeholders in skills development activities. The study also recommends a number of changes required to mitigate these situations. These include the recognition of stakeholders’ inputs and commitment to skills development by all parties involved in the process.
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