Why are Young South Africans unemployed?

2013-07-31 21:13

More and young Africans are becoming unemployed.

Statistics SA revealed that official rate of unemployment rose to 25.6% from 25.2% in the second quarter of 2014.

This to me is worrying especially to me as a December potential graduate. Will I graduate and land  into the unemployed ?

There are many reasons why young South Africans are unemployment.

Firstly, the government has been very slow in creating jobs for all South Africans. Most people who fall victim to this are young people.

While acknowledging that the government is responsible for creating jobs for us young people we must also acknowledges that the private sector also has a role.

Very often, when we talk about unemployment we often forget that there are big businesses operating in our country. These businesses, domestic or international should assist government in creating opportunities for employment.

Governments are responsible for creating stable political, social and economic conditions for business to grow and prosper.

Our government has gone too far to appease business to a point where we accuse it of being too liberal. Such appeasements should translate into job creation.

While unemployment is high it will good to note that only 5% of young graduate are unemployed, It is around 29% for matriculants and for those with less than 12 years schooling, it is about 42%.

These figures tell a story. Young people without Tertiary Education are more at risk of being unemployed.

It will be easy to say, wake up young people and get education.

It’s not that simple; our education system is still in shambles. Very few matriculate and make it to university and very few even graduates when already.

While the government has given poor South Africans free education in public school and financial assistance in Universities, the quality of education is still appalling.

I must draw our attention to a few factors which are becoming a norm among us young people we can blame the government and business forever but if we don’t also blame ourselves nothing will happen.

One of my cousin failed matric, one passed and did not make it to varsity and I matriculated and made it to University. To link it to the stats, I will probably fall into the 5% Graduate unemployed after I graduate and my cousins will fall into the 42% and 29% respectfully.

My cousin who failed matric just sat at home and did nothing after. The other one that passed applied in one university for a certain field of study, when he did not get acceptance he sat home and did nothing like my other cousin.

I find this problematic; firstly, we youth need to stop being choosy.

Many young people with only matric or less education are picky when it comes to the kind of jobs they would do.

They don’t want to settle for jobs matching the skills they have. They see Somalians who start up small business in our rural and township communities as a threat.

People come from African country and create job opportunities in our country but our people are too lazy to do the same in their land.

When others fail matric like my cousin, they do nothing. They sit at home and feed on their parent’s income or grandmother’s pension grants. It’s paining.

Some of them have never even created a CV in their lives. They expect the government to create ones for them.

Gone are the times when you could have one dream, go to university, pursue your dreams and graduate and find employment.

You can’t pursue just one career and if you can’t get it you sit at home and do nothing.

This is a case for my other cousin; he matriculated with very impressive marks but did not qualify to study a field he wanted.

Young people like my cousin are fixated to the idea that you can only study in a University.

They undermine FET Colleges; they reject any other study field that is not of their dream.

This is confusing to me; a dream and a wish of studying in a certain University for a certain degree instead of a college won’t put food on the table

When applying to study in a University or College, we must not only focus on what our dreams are. Apply knowing which jobs or careers are in demand.

In South Africa there is a huge mismatch between the available jobs and the skills needed by both the public and the private sector.

Your choice of study must now not only match your dreams but what’s on demand. It’s useless to have a degree you dreamed of  but can’t use.

I and my cousins went to the same public school; this means we were all given equal opportunities but then we did not use them the same.

I matriculated and went to study in a University for something I never thought I would study. My marks  dictated my study field.

I could have chosen to remain at home like my cousins and do nothing simply because I could not be offered placement in for my dream study field but I did not.

It’s my hope that many young South Africans stop being choosy.  Such tendencies lead to the high unemployment rate among us young people.

Lessons

If you fail Matric, go to an FET College and pursue whichever career you believe you can tolerate

If you pass with poor marks, try to improve them, if you cant go get a job and do not be picky and what kind of job you want. Look for jobs that match the skills you have.

If you dont get admitted to a certain University for a certain study field. Review or options and dreams, going to an FET College might not be a bad idea.

In all of these make sure you're studying something that will put food on the table not necessarily make you rich. Many people who are at home with their Degrees and Diplomas studied careers that are not on demand in our labour force. Please choose wisely.

Esethu Hasane is a final-year student at the University of Cape Town in pursuit of a B.soc.sc Degree with Majors in International Relations, Public Policy and Media.Your welcome to offer him a job wink wink

Follow him on twitter @Esethu_u and respond to his article.

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