Graduate unemployment, or educated unemployment, is unemployment among people with an academic degree, commonly between the ages of 20-35.The rising unemployment rate among new university graduates today is a worrying trend. Now the pool of unemployed graduates is rising to a worrying levels even in some high growth economies. This is due to several causes and issues that result in the increase of the unemployment rate today. This Assignment brings and discusses the main causes and issues on the unemployment of many new graduates, with solutions of the matter on hand.
This is an important issue as lots of young people entering the Varsity, if there is an increasing year by year graduate unemployment that will have a big impact on these young people, as they won’t find a job to support their families nor them self’s. There are already people suffering from this and mostly come from poor backgrounds were the families are solely going to rely on the young graduate. This Essay outlines and explains the causes of graduate unemployment and suggests the practical and workable solutions to help the situation on hand.
THE CAUSES OF GRADUATE UNEMPLOYMENT
Unemployment in South Africa is a key concern, however more alarming is the fact that graduates who should be the most likely to find employment have illustrated increasing shares of unemployment in South Africa. Therefore in order to target the problem of Graduate unemployment it is important to understand the primary causes from which graduate unemployment stems from.
“The main cause of unemployment among graduates would be the lack of professional connections” (Davis, 2014). For a Fresh graduate, it is not often easier to find valuable contacts to recommend a job or get recommended. A valuable connection not only guides them in the right direction but also helps fresh graduates step into a job easily, Professional connections for an example it’s when a person knows someone who works at a particular field or works at some company and he/she puts in good word for the person at work for them to hire the person who’s looking for the job since they maybe trusting the person who’s already working in the job, or for other reasons hire him/her.
Heidi (2014) states that “the cause of unemployment among graduates would be the lack of experience. Fresh graduates often do not have any practical experience. The lack of experience interrupts their job application and causes a significant delay in their employment. The career portfolio of a graduate is important to make up with his/her inexperience. They can attend on-job training programs and internships to demonstrate their working skill and talent in looking for a suitable job. Besides that, the causes of unemployment may also be due to economic crises and recession. It is a common problem because businesses stop making as much money and have to result in less or no employment of fresh graduates”.
Unskilled and inexperienced workers such as fresh university graduates will suffer unemployment due to the fact that most employers will be looking for professional workers with a certain set of working skill to maintain the company’s performance during a recession. Kimball (2014) Effects of unemployment among graduates would be primarily financial issues. Graduates usually do not have enough savings or source of a stable income to support themselves, majority of graduates will face insufficient use of money daily. With the lost income and the frustration involved in it, the recently unemployed may develop negative attitudes toward common things in life and may feel that all sense of purpose is lost Also, the effect of unemployment would include the loss of valuable skills and talent of fresh graduates.
The unemployed is not able to put his/her skills to use. And in a situation where it goes on for too long the person may have to lose some of his/her skills that is critical to their success in their field of study. To further complicate the situation. Heidi (2014), the longer the unemployment graduate is out of job the more difficult it becomes to find a new one. Employers find employment gaps as a negative aspect. No one wants to hire a person who has been out of work for some time even when there’s no fault of the individual per say.
Other reasons for this is a result of a large disconnect in what and how universities teach and the experience of actually working in the job market. University courses tend to be theoretically heavy, with very little practical experience and teachings provided. In addition, the very structure of exams and testing, in itself, often focuses more on a person’s ability to memorise their coursework than their ability to take the information in and apply it to different situations. The result of this is that students can easily parrot the theory of their given field, but often have little understanding of how to apply it in their daily job. Effective learning requires space for reflection, active participation and the application of new concepts and skills. This learning method is not as favoured at a tertiary level as it should be, resulting in unprepared graduates. Philips Vilikazi, marketing manager of the South African Graduates Development Association( press,2017) states that, “The shortage of skills versus the labour market and also the fact that some graduates are qualified but not yet ready for the labour market are some of the contributing factors to the high unemployment rate in South Africa,”.
Another reason for the rising unemployment levels, Stanlib (press, 2017) states that “there is a lack of adequate growth in the job market. Quite simply, there are not enough jobs to accommodate society. While there is an increase in job opportunities, it is eclipsed by the number of job seekers. In early 2017, the unemployment rate was at 27.7%, the lowest South Africa has seen since 2003. That is 9.3 million people looking for work at this very moment”.
Stanlib (press, 2017) states “Unemployment has a dismal cause and effect relationship with society. The poverty trend of 2006-2015found that over half of South African society is living in poverty. That’s 30.4 million South Africans (55.5%), more than double the 27.3 million statistic of 2011. As the cost of living increases, this frightening statistic worsens. The unemployment rate in the 15-24 and 25-34 year age groups is steadily increasing. Of those 9.3 million unemployed 6 million are under the age of 35. Clearly, the rate of youth unemployed has become a national crisis, with significant social, economic and political implications”,
(Moleke, 2005) found that “factors such as field of study, geographic area, choice of institution, as well as gender and race were key determining factors in whether graduates found employment or not. There are 60% of graduates who found employment immediately, a further 28% found employment between one and six months after qualifying, 6% did so between seven and 12 months and 6% took more than a year after obtaining their qualifications to find employment”. Sheoraj (2008) states that “Graduates in fields with a more professional focus, such as medical sciences (79%) and engineering (77%) had higher rates of rapid employment than those who studied in fields that were largely of a general nature”.
Kraak (2008) states that “The segregation policies of the Apartheid era in South Africa made the level of education in the country to be low, suppressed entrepreneurialism and spatial inequalities among the African population. Evan if Apartheid was ended in 1994, economic and social outcomes in this country continue to be heavily influenced by its historical legacy. This is no more apparent than in the labour market, which is showed by some of the highest unemployment rates and lowest employment population ratios in the world. At the same time, the informal sector is relatively small, which can be argued to be a manifestation of Apartheid policies that stymied entrepreneurship”.
The demise of the structured labour market
Kraak (2008) states that “The second segment is comprised of university?trained professionals, all of whom have professional degrees in fields such as law, engineering, medicine, chartered accounting, teaching and social work. These students are self?sponsored, usually supported by well to do middle?class families. Practical experience is acquired after university graduation and is often a requirement for professional registration. A third component is the graduate with a generalist bachelor’s degree and a more indirect link to the world of work: graduates with Bachelors of Arts, Commerce, Management and Public Administration degrees. These students are self?sponsored, and have no link to an employer prior to, during, or at the point of graduation. Many of the jobs in the vastly expanded services sector employ graduates from this component”.
The decline of work placements for university of technology
Additional factor contributing to unemployment among tertiary learners is the difficulty of finding work placements. Without these placements the key mechanisms whereby students from universities of technology acquire practical workplace experience students are unable to graduate, although they may have passed all the theoretical requirements of the academic programme (Moleke, 2005).
Racially differentiated job search behaviour
“The matching of individuals to jobs is a two-sided process, with job seekers selecting into openings and employers selecting among those who apply” (Logan, 1996). While both forms of selection are critical to the ultimate distribution of labour market outcomes, we know little about how job seekers decide where to search for work. This striking asymmetry in our knowledge about the job matching process becomes particularly relevant in considering how race affects labour market placement (Neckerman, 1991).
The decline of work placements for university of technology students
Nowadays if you a graduate just recently out of the university and looking for a job, you go to the interview one of the questions you will strongly face is how much experience you have, that’s when the problem starts and end up not being hired, because of the lack of skills, at the same time as this is happening the work placements for university students is in decline.
Sandwich degrees Vocational course where students spend a year working within their industry, are meant to introduce you to the world of work and help in hand with the university learning.
Work placements are very difficult for universities to set up and they’re expensive for the run, departments have to arrange visits by academics, and mentoring, to ensure students are having a rewarding experience (Purcell, 2010).
Another factor which may add to the unemployment among tertiary learners is the difficulty of finding work placements, this is where students find practical work experience, and without this students cannot graduate even though they have passed the theoretical requirements of the academic programme.
Apartheids structured labour markets
The apartheid was dismantled in 1994 even though that happened the economic and social outcomes in this country continue to be heavily influenced by its historical legacy. This occurs more in the labour market, which is characterized by some of the highest unemployment rates and lowest employment.
During the apartheid era in South Africa’s labour market where it was highly structured for white beneficiaries in the first two labour market segments, segments 1 and 2, the first was a highly structured occupational labour market for artisans and technically trained para professionals such as technicians and technologists, segment 1, all mentioned were financially sponsored by employers throughout their training. This was a very structured set of arrangements, during the apartheid era, the primary beneficiaries of these arrangements were White students and White workers (Kraak, 2010).
“Segment 2 generally in this mode of professional training beneficiaries normally sponsor their own studies first, and then find employment in the labour market very easily because demand is usually high. However, in the South African matter, this mode of education provision was racially adapted to favour only White, and preferably Afrikaner beneficiaries” (Kraak, 2010).
Racially differentiated job search behaviour
The selection by race also occurs in ground level such as in High school, for an example in Queenstown where the high school was built in coloured environment in years back, now students coming to start there high school there are mostly selected by race if you black skinned and have high marks you have a less chance than someone who’s white and has lower marks than you. (Moleke, 2005) states that “Here factors such as field of study, geographic area, choice of institution, as well as gender and race were key determining factors in whether graduates found employment or not. Molekes’s study shows that, in these fields generic study fields, White graduates had better job prospect. For example, more than 50 percent of White graduates found immediate employment in all study fields, whereas the only fields where more than 50% of Africans found employment immediately were engineering (88%) and medical sciences (66%) fields that required high mathematics and science grades. It was only in engineering that African” “graduates experienced the highest proportion of those in immediate employment (89%) compared with 78%, 50%, and 50% respectively for Whites, Asians and Coloureds. The disadvantage facing Africans and Coloureds in the labour market was clearly evident in this analysis” (Moleke 2005).
WORKABLE SOLUTIONS TO REMEDY THIS SITUATUION.
We have LKA which help us about life skills, about black people past and so on, but the school should create a module which focuses more on training students in identifying job opportunity and how to tackle the matter when the it appears, there are students in varsities who never seen or even know how job interview works, now when they go for it when they just graduated they panic as they don’t know what to do and pressure is there and they are unexperienced for situations as such, if the university can create a programme in which we learn about movies and history of the university why can’t it creates a programme in which every varsity student doing last year to do a programme in which helps us to impress our future employers through impressive curriculum vitae (CV), get the students to get used to the pressure they will face when in interview, in Queenstown programmes like this might help a lot as unemployed graduates firstly panic a lot in interviews with terrible cvs there should be more or better career guidance and more flexible access to training and more use of youth friendly technology for information and service delivery.
National prioritization to tackle unemployment in all spheres of society (government, civil, public and private sector). Skills transfer and job preparation for those who have the skills but are unemployed because of lack of experience. Vocational training for out of school youth and unemployed people without any skills .Refocus from BEE to Entrepreneurship development as government policy for redressing South Africa’s inequality. Focus on creating a very large small business sector in South Africa, Provide funding to entrepreneurs, Prevent government officials from being directors in companies that do business with government in order to root out tender