Glum future for graduates without jobs
MORE than 2 000 Durban graduates received their qualifications over the past 10 days, but if statistics are anything to go by, their chances of employment remain bleak.
With a large number of former graduates still seeking unemployment, and more than 3 million young South Africans without jobs as highlighted by Statistics SA’S quarterly labour force statistics, new graduates are concerned.
Last week, the Durban University of Technology celebrated its September graduation season with 1 029 students graduating, mostly from the faculty of engineering and the built environment as well as the Faculty of Health Sciences.
The University of Kwazulunatal also saw 1 503 graduands – 58% of whom were women – receive degrees at its first spring graduation. Many holding elite degrees in fields such as engineering, law, education and accounting, also remain unemployed.
Stats SA’S latest unemployment statistics said that only 7.4% of graduates remained unemployed. They painted a different pictured.
When a social media post was put up this week calling for unemployed graduates to share their stories, graduates from across all fields raised their concerns, some saying only a handful who graduated in their classes had secured jobs either in or out of their fields.
Some have had to settle for lower-paid jobs while others were hoping opportunities would be created for them.
Promise Xaba, from Mayville, who holds a degree in education, said she had been unemployed for three years.
She said she was desperate to find a job and had even been applying to supermarkets for any job they could offer her.
“But the environment is so tough that even with a degree, supermarkets cannot employ you. I have been running back and forth to the Department of Education and I go to schools almost daily to drop off my CVS, with no luck for three years,” said Xaba.
Andile Sibeko, who has a degree in electronic engineering, said after two years of job-hunting, he was at breaking point and settled for a job at a local store in Kwamashu, as a merchandiser.
Another Durban graduate Ashiel Singh, who has a civil engineering degree, said he was tired of being unemployed and had been in the job market as a graduate for more than two years.
“When you’re choosing a career path, you’re told that engineering is a great field and you will definitely have a prosperous future. Companies come through in your first year and talk to you about potential opportunities but when you reach the end, the environment has changed so much that they no longer have opportunities for you,” said Singh.
DUT celebrated its September graduation season with 1 029 students graduating last week.