Generation Jobless

2016-06-22 10:03

We live in a generation where university degrees or diplomas no longer hold the promise of jobs for young South Africans, as hundreds of thousands of them battle to find work.

A growing army of unemployed graduates are now forced to either rely on their families to support them or find jobs as unskilled workers, such as waiters, clerks and office assistants, or work in a profession/environment completely unrelated to their acquired profession.

Of South Africa's five million unemployed people, 3.5million are under 35 years old, with nearly 600 000 of them being graduates.

It is sad to think that thousands of graduates and their families may be wondering if all the money and hard work spent on tertiary education was worth it.

Another significant drawback hampering graduates from finding a job within their chosen career path is the lack of work experience.

Some employers expect graduates to have at minimum 3 years post graduate experience prior to them being considered, not for the job, but for an interview for the job. Again this does not guarantee the graduate individual the job. (I personally believe that the initial interview process is by no means a reflection of an individual’s work ethic and capabilities).

Students are thus implored to work whilst studying in order to secure some “work experience."

This may be prove to be difficult for those who are studying full time.

The South African Graduates Development Association (“SAGDA”) blames a number of factors for the country’s growing graduate unemployment crisis. One of them is successfully matching those with skills to the jobs which require them.

SAGDA chief executive Thamsanqa Maqubela said, among the country’s 600 000 unemployed graduates were qualified accountants, despite the fact that this is one of the country’s scarcest skills.

Engineers, he says, make up the largest number of qualified graduates on their database with more than 150 of them looking for work. He says that there are even more jobless engineers out there. Scary, right?

In a country where thousands are fighting for free education, we now have to fight to be given the opportunity to utilize our talents, both natural and acquired, in order to make our mark in the world.

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