Matrics face tough job market, says HSRC

2010-10-25 13:29

Less than half of all matriculants would not hold a formal job before they celebrated their 24th birthday, the Human Resources Research Council (HSRC) said in Pretoria today.

HSRC chief executive Dr Olive Shisana made the statement as she released the organisation’s audited financial results for 2009/10, which saw the organisation receive its 10th consecutive unqualified report.

She said the HSRC, which was involved with an estimated 155 projects, had generated the organisation’s “highest income ever” at R340 million.

Referring to a study carried out in conjunction with the National Prosecuting Authority, Shisana said the HSRC had recommended that there was a need for public intervention ranging from victim counselling to collaborative work among various crime agencies.

“Education is a very big priority. We know, all of us know, the quality of education is very bad in the country.”

HSRC research was looking at how to improve basic education and how matriculants could gain access to further education.

Shisana said there was a high rate of attrition among students, who dropped their studies before obtaining their qualifications. Research had shown that poverty had played a big role.

A large number of school-leavers joined the long queues of the unemployed.

“The key question is how to improve the employment prospects of school-leavers in the labour market who are not going into higher education.”

HSRC research had shown that there were 3 million people in the 15-to-24 age group who were not studying or working.

Shisana said race was still playing a major role among university graduates, with black graduates battling more than others in obtaining jobs.

She said currently the Department of Science and Technology contributed 50% to the organisation’s funding while the rest came from external sources such as research grants.

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