Cape Town -111025. Matric students writing their final Accountancy exam at Zola Secondary School in Khayelitsha. Reporter: Michelle Jones.Pic: Jason Boud

Johannesburg - Matriculants hoping to increase their job prospects should look to train further after school, trade union Solidarity said on Monday.

A report by the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) showed the local labour market was still difficult for young people, even if they had a matric certificate, Solidarity said in a statement.

Nearly one in three young South Africans were unemployed and not in training.

SRI senior economic researcher Paul Joubert, who compiled the report, said matriculants should not expect to find a well-paying job straight out of school.

“Of course, this is not meant to discourage young people from job-hunting for whatever jobs are available, as any work experience increases a person's chances of finding a better job in future,” he said.

“However, the best option remains to further one's education.”

The report showed that around 50 percent of job seekers with a matric certificate as their only qualification were employed.

While this was better than those without any training or qualification, with only 30 percent employed, 80 percent of people with some form of tertiary qualification were employed.

“Therefore, a matric certificate does improve a person's chances of having a job, but a tertiary qualification improves a person's chances of having a job significantly,” said Joubert.

Tertiary education also increased a person's earning potential, with less than 13 percent of South Africa's adult population having a tertiary qualification.

In 2011, according to the report, out of employed people with only matric certificate, 30 percent earned more than R6400 a month and over 13 percent earned more that R12 800 a month.

Among the employed who had a matric certificate and a further tertiary qualification, 50 percent earned more than R6400 a month.

More than 30 percent earned more than R12 800 a month, and 9.1percent earned more than R25 600 a month.

“The next group, people with university degrees, higher diplomas or equivalent qualifications, shows the biggest jump in income levels,” Solidarity said.

“Almost 80 percent of this group earned more than R6400 per month in 2011. More than half receive an income of more than R12,800 per month, and nearly a quarter earned more than R25 600

per month.”

Seven percent earned more than R51 200 per month. - Sapa