Graduates in trouble?
With the South African economy in a slump and unemployment growing at an unprecedented rate; having a tertiary qualification remains a clear differentiator in South Africa’s job market.
According to Statistic South Africa, youth aged between 15 and 24 years are the most vulnerable in the South African labour market as the unemployment rate among this age group was 55,2% in the first quarter of 2019.
Among graduates in this age group, the unemployment rate was 31,0% during this period compared to 19,5% in the fourth quarter of 2018 – an increase of 11,4 percentage points quarter-on-quarter. However, the graduates unemployment rate is still lower than the rate among those with other educational levels, meaning that education, especially degreed qualification, was still the key to these young people’s prospects improving in the South African labour market.
About 796,542 students wrote matric exams in 2018. Only 172,043 matric students achieved a bachelor’s pass, while 141,700 achieved a diploma pass. 86,800 achieved a higher certificate pass. Kubera Naidoo; African Academy MD advises parents that an alternative to university was still possible. “A matric certificate should not determine one’s career or even limit their access to further studies. By studying and earning a higher certificate at a registered and reputable institution, students can progress into a degree or diploma”
The burden of unemployment is concentrated amongst the youth (aged 15–34 years) as they account for 63,4% of the total number of unemployed persons. Almost 4 in every 10 young people in the labour force did not have a job, with the unemployment rate within this group at 39,6% in the first quarter of 2019.
Articulation into higher qualifications was affording South African youths an opportunity to study further. It was also opening doors of learning. He called on parents and students alike not to enrol for higher education certificates.