Many matriculants will be jobless

2010-10-25 13:53

Pretoria - Fewer than 50% of all matriculants will hold a job in the formal employment sector before they celebrate their 24th birthday, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), said in Pretoria on Monday.

HSRC chief executive Dr Olive Shisana made the statement as she released the organisation's audited financial results for the year 2009/10, which saw the organisation receive its tenth consecutive unqualified report.

She said the HSRC which was involved with an estimated 155 projects had generated the organisation's "highest income ever" at R340m.

Referring to a study carried out in conjunction with the National Prosecuting Authority, Shisana said the HSRC had recommended that there was a need for public intervention ranging from victim counselling to collaborative work among various crime agencies.

"Education is a very big priority. We know, all of us know, the quality of education is very bad in the country."

HSRC research was looking at how to improve basic education and how matriculants could gain access to further education.

Shisana said there was a high rate of attrition among students, who dropped their studies before obtaining their qualifications. Research had shown that poverty had played a big role.

A large number of school leavers joined the long queues of the unemployed.

"The key question is how to improve the employment prospects of school leavers in the labour market that are not going into higher education."

HSRC research had shown there were some three million people in the 15 to 24 age group who were not studying or working.

Shisana said race was still playing a major role among university graduates, with black graduates battling more than others in obtaining jobs.

She said that currently the department of science and technology contributed some 50% to the organisation's funding while the rest came from external sources such as research grants.

  • Philani Lubanyana - 2010-10-25 14:24

    It is unfortunately that so many poor matriculants after so much investment by their parents will be jobless. Whenever you embarked on investment you are expecting favourable ROI and same things applies when you invest on education you are expecting to be rewarded by your efforts. Some of these poor matriculants they travel kilometers to school with empty stomach due to high levels of poverty in rural and farm areas. They travel on bare feet in winter. Now they are joining us unemployed graduates as job hunters too.Philani@Umlazi

  • @ Philani - 2010-10-25 15:26

    Your extremely poor grammar and sentence construction suggests that you are a product of our dismal education system. Why should businesses employ anyone who can barely spell their own name after more than a decade of "studying". I sympathise for these children as it is not their fault but as long as we have such a poor education system the only employer for these people will be the informal sector and/or even scarier, government. This is a frightening prospect.

  • Edgar - 2010-10-25 15:45

    @Philani...Very sad indeed, but as long as the ANC stays in control what do you expect? The apartheid regime education system worked along with many other things, was there really any need to change a solid structured system?

  • labour law - 2010-10-25 15:52

    Change the labour law and make it easier for companies to employ then you will see an improvement. Who wants to employ people and then battle to fire them if they dont perform?

  • Viran Chunilal - 2010-10-25 16:01

    This article and the stats released by the HSRC is in every way totally insensitive toward the youngsters facing the toughest challenge at the moment. The reality is that thousands of pupils are under severe pressure to succeed through the exams. Many will endure emotional and social torture and .... well this article and the HSRC approach on this matter will not help. Imagine the situation when pupils read this or the release of the would wonder if any effort they are putting in would be worth while. "What is there to look forward to even if I write the exams or even if I pass?". As a journalist myself, I appeal to both the journalist and the organization in question to re-approach this matter in a positive manner.

  • Graham - 2010-10-25 16:05

    What a stupid statement. 5% is less than 50%. If only 5% do not hold jobs that's good. To have any meaning the statement must be expressed in terms of "more than", we assume this would be a large number.

  • Dirk - 2010-10-25 16:09

    This is true, however not just in SA. In an article in Time magazine some time ago this same fact was mentioned. School and varsity dropouts seem to be increasing all over the world, for various reasons. After some debating the writer comes to the conclusion that the school system/way of teaching etc is to blame. It is old fashioned. In the family structure we a told to work hard and study hard. Even this, the author said is old fashioned. Simply look at the IT sector and the revolusion it brings. Facebook / microsoft/ Apple - all started with college dropouts. Maybe this is generation Y starting to do what the baby boomers did in the 1900s. Food for thought i thought.

  • Vims - 2010-10-25 16:28

    I think part of the reason there are no jobs for them is that the unions exploit their power. Businesses are very reluctant to take on new staff because they can't let them go easily and then the unions come along and demand exorbitant increases every year. This means that businesses have to budget for massive increases for the current staff therefore cannot afford to grow their workforce. The easiest way for a business to survive is to have less staff.

  • Nico - 2010-10-25 16:30

    I am in the market to employ people. Before I interview these people they have to do a very easy basic test containing 9 questions. I do provide these people with a calculator as it is nine questions of basic calculations. As this article claimed correctly that blacks battling more then anyone else is true as they cannot do a basic calculation on a calculator ex. R750 - 20% discount = ?? NO CLUE and they just stare at you......

  • Wake up call - 2010-10-25 16:32

    Dear Philani, while I feel great sympathy for the matriculants you speak of I must tell you that even when I got my matric in 89 matric was no guarantee of employement. There are simply not enough jobs in the formal sector and if they really want to get ahead they should be learning a trade or ensuring that they do post-school technical training in one of the areas where there are tremendous job shortages. Unfortunately most of these jobs require maths and science. What annoys me is that I see very little information made available to learners on exactly which skills SA has a shortage of. Have you ever seen a comprehensive list anywhere?

  • Shar - 2010-10-25 16:34

    No Unions = Employment. How is that so hard to grasp. Labourers cannot expect to demand above inlfation increases when the global economy is in recession. Firms are already struggling (you can see they not increasing capacity and they had loads of spare capacity). So when labour increases, the obvious thing is to retrench. Its not at all complicated. You cannoe expect full employment when unions are holding government (what I mean by this is the taxpayer) and businesses to ransom. All that results in is an increase in unemployment in which a handful benefit by the incraese. The other alternative is that business increases the price of a product and pass the increased labout costs onto the consumer (worker).

  • Appietrader - 2010-10-25 16:40

    It won't get better and foreing companies, especially mining companies won't invest in SA. You all have to thank julius malema for it!!! Investors only in vest into SA bonds, NO DIRECT INVESMENTS!!!

  • Lutando - 2010-10-25 16:41

    Greetings to everybody, my advice to matriculants is that they should try careers that are in demand for the development of the country,therefore careers that will enable them to create employment for themselves.

  • hmm - 2010-10-25 20:23

    The answer is birth control and population control - why do we have 20 million people who are unemployed and unemployable, clearly the population exceeds the size of the economy. If there were only 10 million people in South Africa the economy and GDP per Capita and I venture to say the Gini coefficient would be in a much better state. Furthermore we are not a developed country, get rid of restrictive legislation, apply economic principals which has worked (like China's) and not those followed in Zimbabwe.

  • Amajuba - 2010-10-26 06:59

    I have the same problem as LABOUR LAW, we could have doubled our staff quota, but due to employment laws we don't have the time to comtend with people who "demand" and state "thats not my job!". we pay above the legal wage rates and therefore have a wider choice of person with working skills. also women are harder working and reliable! cut the red tape and watch the unemployement rate fall.

  • Nigelcd - 2010-10-26 08:57

    @Wake Up Call - and whoever else listens - with reference to the lack of information regarding scarce skills in SA, I was looking for such info myself and went to the Dept of Labour for said info ( to my HORROR it was last updated in Feb 2009 and the doc cannot be accessed! Seems not even the Dept. of Labour give a damn! Is there anyone out there in control or has the captain abandoned ship!

  • Dee - 2011-03-03 13:48

    The latest news that the education department are going to stop grammar lessons after Grade 10 is a truly frightening prospect. Rather than stepping up to the challenge of getting it right they will give up completely. So many institutions for further education have a prerequisite English exam and we are closing doors for the students before they even get the chance to knock. This would require an extra year of study of the English language before acceptance into many courses -same as maths and science. Currently a year of English is compulsory in many NON ENGLISH speaking countries before any higher education takes place. Are we going to eventually stop teaching at Grade 10 and pass the buck to the varsities for everything.If our educators are serious about outputting world class students who contribute to society we should recognise that we need good communication skills to compete in todays global economy.

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