The Star Early Edition

Graduates join­ing the job queues


STA­TIS­TICS SA’s re­cent Quar­terly Labour Force Sur­vey for the third quar­ter of the year has re­vealed that the un­em­ploy­ment rate in the coun­try has stag­nated at 27.7%.

The data fur­ther re­vealed that youth un­em­ploy­ment re­mained at 38.6%, with many of those hav­ing

given up hope of find­ing work. This in­cluded peo­ple with degrees and di­plo­mas.

Ac­cord­ing to labour an­a­lyst Loane Sharp, about 563 000 univer­sity graduates are un­em­ployed and lan­guish­ing at home un­able to put into prac­tice what they have learned. A grow­ing army of un­em­ployed graduates are forced to ei­ther rely on their fam­i­lies for sup­port or find jobs as un­skilled work.

How­ever, African Bank’s group ex­ec­u­tive for hu­man cap­i­tal, Lindiwe Miyambu, said it was def­i­nitely not all doom and gloom.

“There are still tal­ent op­por­tu­ni­ties aplenty in cer­tain sec­tors. The bank­ing sec­tor is one such ex­am­ple.”

Sharp said the key is­sue was whether the de­gree was rel­e­vant to em­ploy­ers.

He says not all graduates were equal in the fierce bat­tle for jobs and vo­ca­tional rel­e­vance was a big prob­lem.

It is con­cern­ing to see that we have 865 000 va­can­cies in the pri­vate sec­tor and yet still so many un­em­ployed graduates.”

Top­ping the list of sought-af­ter skills in bank­ing are IT, ac­count­ing, ac­tu­ar­ial and fi­nan­cial anal­y­sis as well

We are see­ing a huge focus on IT in the bank­ing sec­tor

as man­age­ment skills, par­tic­u­larly at the se­nior man­age­ment level.

“We are see­ing a huge focus on IT which is log­i­cal due to the chang­ing tech­nol­ogy and new prod­uct devel­op­ment within banks. Mo­bile bank­ing and cash­less trans­ac­tions are what peo­ple want,” she said.

Com­mon fields of study of­fer­ing a sup­ply stream for the bank­ing sec­tor are Bach­e­lor of Com­merce; Bach­e­lor of Science: Ac­tu­ar­ial/Fi­nan­cial Math­e­mat­ics; Bach­e­lor of Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion; Bach­e­lor of Science: En­gi­neer­ing/Ap­plied Math­e­mat­ics/ Com­puter Science; Bach­e­lor/ Mas­ter of Law: Cor­po­rate Law; Bach­e­lor of Ac­coun­tancy.

“There are, in some cases, in­takes from Bach­e­lor of Arts: Psy­chol­ogy and Bach­e­lor of So­cial Science: Hu­man Re­sources. The bulk of the sup­ply, how­ever, falls within the ar­eas of Busi­ness and Man­age­ment,” she said.

African Bank has en­gaged with both in­dus­try and higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions in an ef­fort to sup­port the devel­op­ment of the sec­tor. These in­clude in­ter-Seta part­ner­ships, part­ner­ships with other pub­lic higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions, part­ner­ships in Africa and over­seas.

Sharp said part­ner­ships like those were good for the in­dus­try.

“On a macro level it is en­cour­ag­ing to see so many in­sti­tu­tions pro­vid­ing in­no­va­tive pri­vate solutions to the pub­lic prob­lem we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.”

Miyambu said African Bank has just opened its 2018 grad­u­ate devel­op­ment pro­gramme for those con­sid­er­ing a ca­reer in bank­ing and any­one in­ter­ested in ap­ply­ing for the 2018 grad­u­ate pro­gramme can visit their web­site to check the qual­i­fy­ing cri­te­ria.

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