Exploring career opportunities for pupils

2018-03-27 06:00

SHOCKINGLY high unemployment statistics in South Africa stay put as the economy brightens up for the country.

Since the resignation of former president Jacob Zuma, and the recent Cabinet reshuffle, the economy of South Africa is expected to get a boost, but with that said, SA’s unemployment rate has been rising steadily for the past nine years.

In that light, the unemployment rate sits comfortably at 26,7%, according to Statistics South Africa (SSA), which may raise concerns for high school pupils considering the fact that 39% of all unemployed South Africans have not worked before, and among young people this figure rises to a 60,3%, which highlights the fact that young people struggle to land their first job.

There are two extreme groups trapped in the unemployment statistic: the elderly with previous work experience who have been seeking employment via their social networks for over three years, with most of them not having completed 12 years at school.

The second group in the predicament consists of young people, the majority of whom have completed 12 years of school and have their National Senior Certificate and are actively answering job advertisements, according to SSA.

Industrial psychologist from the Psych Care Centre, Elizabeth Neethling, said: “Pupils need to know that there are opportunities out there; they need to keep looking for them.

“Finding a job must become your job, don’t just send out CVs but get in the labour market and gain some experience to add to your CV, use networks and try to get your foot in the door even if it isn’t your ideal job.”

While employment is a way for people to earn a living, there are entrepreneurial activities that people can venture into. Neethling says that if one is struggling to find a job, entrepreneurship might be the answer.

“To add realism to your entrepreneurial ideas, first consider job shadowing to gain hands-on experience.

The world of work is constantly changing.

“The 21st century can be seen as ‘postindustrial’.

“The notion of stable work identities is disappearing.

“Instead, people have to redefine themselves repeatedly in work contexts, working for many different employers and in different sectors of the economy in one lifetime,” said Neethling.

Reg Colegate (78) a retired entrepreneur, said: “I feel students who achieve borderline university entrance should rather pursue self-employment.

The number of drop-outs after a year at varsity is high already and there are a dozen career opportunities that don’t require a degree of some sorts.”

Colegate also said that there are many opportunities for young people and they should not shy away from apprenticeships.

“Apprenticeships in the industry have been reduced from five to three years when combined with the technical colleges in a lot of trades.

“One earns a fair income even when in an apprenticeship, which jumps considerably when one qualifies.

“So for those struggling young people, it will be advantageous to seek alternative careers,” said Colegate.

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