A bleak future awaits job-hunting matriculants who completed their final exams yesterday as the country continues to shed jobs at an alarming rate.
Some 105000 Grade 12 pupils in the province wrote their final paper in their end-of-year exams yesterday, and while many plan to study further, there are those who are hoping to find jobs next year.
However, the education researcher at the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM), Siyabulela Fobosi, advised matriculants to study further.
Fobosi warned that with the current unemployment rate, the future for a Grade 12 pupil hoping to join the job market without studying further “does not look good”.
“Such pupils are most likely to add to the growing number of discouraged work-seekers. They are more likely to join the informal sector,” said Fobosi.
The unemployment rate is currently at 27.7% countrywide and the Eastern Cape has the highest unemployment rate at 35.5%.
Economists have warned that the unemployment rate is likely to soar.
The Dispatch yesterday spoke to a few Grade 12 pupils from John Bisseker Senior Secondary School in East London who are hoping to find employment next year.
The pupils had just written their last exam, the English 3 paper, bringing their school era to an end.
Likhona Charlie said studying further was not an option for her because she needed to provide for her family by finding a job.
“I need to make money to support my family. I have four siblings and I am the eldest. I need to find a job to help my mother financially. Maybe in a few years time I will enrol in a computer course,” she said.
The 21-year-old said she was unskilled and finding a job would not be easy.
“I am looking for any kind of job, I can be a cashier or even a packer,” she said.
Mickayla Gysman said both her parents had been unemployed since her mother was recently retrenched from her factory job.
She was hoping to find a job at the same factory.
Leighton Majoos said he wanted to find a job to “build some experience” and then study further.
“Most places are looking for employees who are experienced. So my plan is to get the experience first and study later,” Majoos said.
Fobosi said getting an education was considered to be the best way to get ahead in today’s “unequal world”. “Even though people with just a matric and no further qualification are employable, they are not employed in decent employment.
“People who are better-educated have, typically, higher chances of obtaining decent employment.
“Unemployment rates generally decline with increasing levels of qualifications. Therefore, someone with matric and no qualification is significantly less employable in the formal labour market,” said Fobosi. — firstname.lastname@example.org