Institute for Open Learning (IOL), Namibia’s Largest Distance Education Institution has Launched a Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme
The Institute for Open Learning (IOL) has launched its fully-fledged Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme for skills training in various fields including bricklaying and plastering; plumbing and pipefitting. TVET was identified as an area where the most economic impact can be derived due to a high number of unskilled and unemployed Namibians.
Exploiting synergies across the group, Trustco Bank intends to provide financing for Namibians who wish to start their own businesses in these fields, subject to the individuals enrolling for the programme. IOL is regulated by the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) and by the Ministry of Education in respect of the quality assurance of courses and course material. IOL is further regulated by the National Council for High Education (NCHE) for its higher educational courses. TVET programmes are registered with the National Training Authority (NTA). The Bank, as well offering financings for such MSEs will offer mortgage finance, including development loans over residential land.
IOL is Namibia’s largest distance education institution and the second largest after UNISA in Southern Africa, offering quality accredited and value-adding distance secondary and tertiary educational programmes to part-time students in full or part-time employment. IOL took over from Open Learning Group Namibia following an acquisition by Trustco Group in 2005, leading to the formation of Trustco Finance, the financing partner for IOL in the same year. Trustco Finance provides student loans and 100% financing on all courses offered at IOL. Over 95% of IOL students currently receive financial support through Trustco Finance. IOL which started with only 2 500 students has grown the number to over 58 000 students during the last 15 years.
IOL, Trustco Finance and Trustco Bank among others, are subsidiaries of Trustco Group. Trustco Group, founded in 1992, is an integrated, property, financial services, education and investments group. The group’s operations are in Namibia, but it also has operations in South Africa and Sierra Leone. The group is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX).
At the beginning of April, the group announced a NAD 1 billion (approx. USD 70 million) capital injection through the shareholder loans from the van Rooyen family. Verdant Capital is currently arranging debt funding for Trustco Finance to expand its student loan portfolio, and for Trustco Bank.