What is it about?
In South Africa, graduate unemployment rates are generally lower than the rest of the world. however, there are certain groups of graduates who still struggle to get jobs. The findings show that lack of relevant work experience, limited information about an efficient job search, low social capital, and high costs of work-seeking create obstacles to securing work.
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Why is it important?
It is important because it aims at ensuring significant investments in post-secondary education and training on the part of both the state and the individual graduate are realised.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Barriers to the labour market for unemployed graduates in South Africa, Journal of Education and Work, June 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/13639080.2019.1620924.
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The impact of youth employability programmes on young graduates in the City of Johannesburg
This study focused on the impact of employability programmes among graduates in Johannesburg. I focus on this issue because of the attention paid to graduate unemployment in the popular media. In the literature two opposing views exist about graduate unemployment. First, that graduate unemployment is of urgent concern in South Africa, and second that graduate unemployment is a non-issue. I take the position that, regardless of the extent of the issue, certain groups of graduates continue to struggle to find work and therefore graduate unemployment is an issue that deserves attention. As a result, this study explored how graduates who have participated in employability programmes view the effect of these programmes. In as much as employability programmes are investing in these graduates, my premise is that there is a need to understand whether these programmes work or not. Following a qualitative paradigm, this study made use of semi-structured interviews to elicit responses from eight participants on their perceptions of the impact of employability programmes. Using thematic analysis, data was analysed, and emerging themes touched on positive and negative perceptions around graduates’ chances of getting employment, the importance of social networks to accessing employability programmes, lack of experience as a cause of graduate unemployment, and empowerment as one result of employability programmes. Using Bourdieu’s theoretical framework on social and cultural capital, the study concluded that graduates who participated in employability programmes felt that the programmes made a positive impact on unemployed graduates through providing computer skills, entrepreneurial skills, values of self-worth and how to conduct oneself in a job interview. Therefore the programmes do offer some forms of cultural and social capital, but cannot address many of the structural causes of unemployment, leaving many of the participants in a continued state of unemployment.
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