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.