GRADUATES WEIGH QUALIFICATIONS WORTH
By: Xolisani Khumalo
How high is graduate unemployment in South Africa? This is a question that lies in some graduate’s and parents’ minds.
Lindokuhle Xaba (22) sits at home with no job after having completed his diploma in Public Relations at the Durban University of Technology (DUT). Xaba said that he has been applying for a job in the past year and has not had any luck.
Xaba mentioned that the only good thing that has ever happened to graduates is getting internships and that’s it; no contract extensions or permanent jobs.
What is the use of getting a qualification that will not work for you? Was a question that Lungile Nzimande (26), an information technology graduate from PC Training asked.
“I have been without a job in the field that I studied for more than five years now, and this brings the question I always ask myself, whether qualifications are really worth working hard
for,” said Nzimande.
Kaizer Mokgubu of Artway Productions in Durban, spoke about the importance of education and touches on corruption.
“Unemployment shouldn’t lead to an uneducated and illiterate society.
We cannot have students drop out in varsity as a result of one person’s reality,” said Mokgubu.
“Jobs will forever wait for qualifying candidates and that South Africa is beating unemployment. Dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them and if we have the
right knowledge and that knowledge is your degree,” added Mokgubu.
Many academic institutions encourage students to conduct thorough research into their career field of choice and most impotantly, look at the supply and demand aspect of that specific
industry to avoid unemployment among graduates. However, others say that there’s more to this issue than meets the eye.
“It is the nepotism system that says, “I will hire my relative and friend, instead of a qualified and deserving candidate. That’s the system that’s got me sitting at home in front of TV,”
The minimum work experience that’s required in the working world is two years and most graduates do not have such experience. According to Statistics South Africa (satssa/9 June
2015), graduates are more likely to be employed in the formal sector. As many as 97, 3% were employed in that sector compared to 52, 9% of persons whose education level was
below matric level.