Unemployment rate has reached its all-time highest and this will affect graduates
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The increase in the number of unemployed people in the country to an all-time high of 34.4% during the second quarter of the year, can impact graduates.
This is according to Mancosa academic Meshel Muzuva. Muzuva said employers often preferred to employ those with previous work experience and a higher level of education. Employers maintained a perception that graduates should be equipped with workplace-related skills.
“When graduates find themselves unemployed, poor psychological, physical and emotional health and well-being may follow. This impacts on the motivation and drive to actively seek employment, which in turn lessens the probability of unemployed graduates securing employment in the labour market,” she said.
Muzuva added that to boost students’ confidence, higher education institutions had a role to play too. In addition, graduate unemployment is particularly caused by a mismatch between the skills demanded by the economy and the skills supplied by graduates, resulting in structural unemployment among graduates.
Hence, Muzuva said there is a need for collaboration between industries and universities to target this mismatch. It is important that universities produce graduates with a skills profile that matches demand trends and become informed about the future skill needs of the economy.
She said that Mancosa has implemented initiatives and mechanisms in an attempt to ensure graduates are provided with a broad and well-rounded education that equips them with theoretical and practical knowledge that helps them get “industry ready”.
“They are armed with more than a simple qualification and are developed into agile and adaptive graduates who are critical thinkers and can demonstrate creativity and communicate effectively.
“Mancosa has a dedicated online portal, Mancosa Career Centre, which provides students with the tools and support to develop their skills, browse and apply for job opportunities, prepare for their job search and connect with potential employers and mentors,” said Muzuva.