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Universities produce wrong kind of graduates: analyst

By Sapa | 2012-01-10 12:11:46.0 | COMMENTS [ 44 ]

SKILLS WE NEED: Management, engineering, law, finance, accounting and medicine

Universities are producing the wrong kind of graduates to redress South Africa’s high unemployment rate, a labour analyst says.

“There are currently nearly 600,000 unemployed university graduates in South Africa, mostly in the arts, humanities and social sciences,” said Adcorp labour market analyst Loane Sharp in a statement. “Whereas the private sector has more than 800,000 vacancies in management, engineering, law, finance, accounting and medicine.”   

Sharp said some professional bodies also restricted entry into their fields through the standards they set, often in concert with universities. This was typically backed by legislative and regulatory requirements.

Sharp said, for example, the General Council of the Bar, the law  societies, the Health Professions Council of SA and the Institute of Chartered Accountants set their own criteria — like exams and low-paid articleship or housemanship — as a prerequisite for entry  into the professions. “By contrast, fields such as physics, finance, engineering, economics and management do not have professional bodies,” he said.

A supplementary analysis to the Adcorp Employment Index released  on Tuesday found that government handouts, trade unions and affirmative action were negatively affecting the desire to work in South Africa.

“As many as 10.2 million South Africans — one in five —  receive grants of one form or another, amounting to 14.9 million grants or 1.5 grants per recipient, yielding average annual transfers of R9539 per beneficiary,” Sharp said.

Referring to Statistics SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey, Sharp said 43% of unemployed people were willing to accept a  job, if offered, when they were living off their own savings.

In contrast, only 11% of people would accept a job if they were supported by social grants and welfare.

“Unemployed people are also more likely to remain out of work if  they are supported by social grants and welfare: the average duration of unemployment is 16 months for people who do not receive  grants, compared to 21 months for people who do.”   

Sharp said trade unions also appeared to discourage work.

“Only 9.3% of unionised workers, as opposed to 17.8 percent of non-unionised workers, are prepared to work additional hours in a given week. “And, of those who will do so, unionised workers are prepared to  work an additional 0.9 hours a week compared to 2.4 hours a week for non-unionised workers.”   

The index showed that affirmative action also discouraged some job seekers.

Highly qualified whites were substantially less likely than blacks to find a job within 12 months of initiating a job search.    

For job-seekers with a tertiary qualification, blacks were 34 percent more likely to find work than whites.

“This has contributed to the higher percentage of whites operating their own businesses.    

“Business owners’ share of national income increased from 39.9 percent in 1995 to 47.2% in 2011, while employees’ share has correspondingly declined,” Sharp said.


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@ e kapa ur seconded

2012-10-05 09:58:56.0 | 0 replies

SETAS are a waste of time. The old trade system worked very well for the technical training and they should bring the system back.

The youth must not be too proud to become plumbers, electricians, welders, mechanics, fitters and turners etc, etc . These trades are in demand.

2012-01-10 14:43:56.0 | 0 replies

Vanzwane " Why don't the Public and Private take in the graduates and train them to become what the company requires ? "

You are correct but then the employees must leave the company immediately after they receive the training. Also, if you employ someone and take a chance on training them you stand the chance of them turning on you and calling the unions in.

Employers will rather not employ than take a chance on someone because of the unions. That is why I agree that there should be a more flexible labour policy for people under a certain age.

2012-01-10 14:39:28.0 | 0 replies

I think like me a lot of students are affraid of failure, and have no idea what their calpabilities are. HG maths is terrifying - I failed SG maths at school but later in life I was able to study accounting cause somoene had channeled me in that direction. Students with not enough guidance often opt for the so-called easier courses. I think the last two years of school should be used to channel students into functional courses.

2012-01-10 14:35:21.0 | 0 replies

Coordidination between industry and learning institution is zero, hence the wrong production of graduates, we are working in silos without a common goal. SAQA through it's SETAS were supose to be the common manifold but they are focusing on addressing on equity than skills interventions.

2012-01-10 14:32:07.0 | 0 replies

To Sharp, Whites are still most likely to be 1st considered over a Black ppl. As to them starting business is bcoz they don't want report to a black Superior at Work places.... finish 'n klaar


Whites don't mind reporting to a QUALIFIED black boss but when tokenism is in place NOBODY wants to report to a black boss who gets the salary but hasn't a cooken clue what's going on!

As for whites starting their own business - every member of my family started their own businesses and makes mega bucks.
Guess we can thank the ANC for reverse racism and discrimination! LOL

2012-01-10 14:27:55.0 | 0 replies

This is bogus!!! There are lots of student in the finance and accounting field but the private sector always caters to our white counterparts thus most black graduates will run to the AG and other finance sector employers to fulfil their potentials....

2012-01-10 14:27:34.0 | 0 replies

Blue_Lady- you out of line. Stop with this already jassas
No domkop she's not.....She's 100% correct!!!!!!!!!

2012-01-10 14:23:20.0 | 0 replies

Now you're shifting the goalposts twits....Last time you said there were not enough graduates of any kind - wrong or right. Now that we are producing the right number, you're pulling up quality issues...What's next? what will happen when the quality has been attended to? Not the right kind of race? Wrong gender? Wrong location? wrong home language?

Confused unthankful Morons !

2012-01-10 14:21:24.0 | 0 replies

"For job-seekers with a tertiary qualification, blacks were 34 percent more likely to find work than whites"

That's music to my ears!!!!!!!!!! AAAaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

2012-01-10 14:20:11.0 | 0 replies

these ppl really know how to manupilate figures if SA varsities are not producing ,who produced them and do they regard themselves as under-qualified no i dooo' nt think so.

shut the hel.l up and why talk about this things in january all the time do you want to discourage our fellow brothers?

2012-01-10 15:04:08.0 | 0 replies