Unemployable graduates mean SA recruits skills from abroad

2012-07-06 00:00

ONLY one in eight South African adults under 25 years old has a job compared to over three in eight youth working in most emerging economies.

President Jacob Zuma said this yesterday at a two- day summit and job fair held by the Zululand Chamber of Commerce in Richards Bay.

The gathering, organised by the Department of Labour, was aimed at matching employers with prospective employees or job seekers.

Thousands of unemployed people from all over the province attended the job fair where they received career guidance from various companies in KwaZulu-Natal.

uThungulu District Mayor Thembeka Mchunu said there was close to 20% unemployment in the district, with 35 000 people without jobs.

She said youngsters without matric need to be re-skilled and channelled as they did not know where to go or study.

They did not have qualifications in the types of subjects that would help them to be active in the economy. Also, graduates with diplomas had studied courses that did not make them employable.

Zuma said unemployment was not only a South African problem but a global one.

Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant said: “There is no greater dignity than having a job and contributing at home. There are over 17 million young people without jobs.”

Zuma said almost 86% of unemployed youth did not have formal further or tertiary education.

He said SA’s unemployment problem was not only because of slow economic growth, but also influenced by a skills mismatch, preferential procurement of labour by some employers, inequality, a low work ethic in some instances and many other social factors prevalent in the South African labour market.

This resulted in South African employers continuously recruiting from outside the country while thousands of unemployed people, including graduates, remained unemployed.

Zuma said scarce or exceptional skills were being recruited from outside the country.

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