TVET graduates have an increased chance of getting jobs. This is why

The Central Johannesburg TVET College in Doornfontein.
The Central Johannesburg TVET College in Doornfontein.

Gone are the days where having a university degree is the only way to get a job.

A qualification from a traditional academic institution used to be an automatic entry into the workplace, but that is not the reality now.

Graduates from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, who possesses vocational skills through their chosen courses, now have increased chances of employment.

The reason for this is: 

• TVET graduates have typically made up only a small fraction of youth who get absorbed into the labour market;

• To address and redress the qualification bias that for years has placed these graduates on the back burner;

• Most TVET colleges offer technical courses which are incredibly important in the industrial growth of any country;

• They have the necessary employability skills required to ensure productivity; and

• There is significant funding available for businesses to hire TVETs as part of their required work-experience at no cost to the business itself

TVET students need to be vigorous once they graduate and explore the various options that are out there.

According to Statistics South Africa, unemployment among TVET graduates was sitting at 33% but only at 7% among university graduates.

This has led government to play an active role in ensuring that the public and private sector utilise TVET graduates with N6 certificates. Offering up to R6000 monthly incentives to graduates, the higher education department has learnerships and internships available.

The unemployment rate among the youth (graduates or not) is high and there is a vast skills shortage within the country that doesn’t help in the alleviation of unemployment across the board. TVET graduates can find some comfort in that there are jobs in the fields that they studied, which they can pursue.


Jobs within Banking and Debt collecting are a great way for TVET graduates who have a passion for the markets and financial systems to kick start their careers. There are a lot of growth points within this industry for youths.


Most graduates are employable within this field. With diverse job opportunities within the tourism industry such as travel agents, car rental agents, consultants and even airline crew members. TVET graduates can find boundless success in the Travel and Tourism sector.

Office management/HR

Administration, bookkeeping, assistant and receptionist jobs are a great way to get into office management. This will afford any graduate the opportunity to build on their strengths and eventually lead them to the department they are best suited to be in within the organisation.

Engineering: Mechanical/electrical

One of the advantages that comes with studying at a TVET college is the technical skills that one learns, particularly in the engineering field. Most graduates can apply for internships or learnerships in order to gain experience so they can become sought-after Engineers within the country.

Logistics (only NCV)

The National Certificate Vocational offers a variety of programmes of study for students in a number of fields. The certificate provides the theory and practical experience required. Graduates in logistics and many other fields of study can gain access to the labour market through the strategic choice of course and certificate level.

The opportunities, though they might seem few and far in-between, exist. TVET students need to be vigorous once they graduate and explore the various options that are out there. Ultimately, it is the chances that one takes that will guarantee them success.

• Jake Willis is chief executive of Lulaway, a pioneer in sustainable high-impact youth employment solutions.

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July 2020

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