Terry and Tony in South Africa. Two South Africans working from home in East London in South Africa since early 2008.

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Youth Unemployment in South Africa

The youth unemployment rate in South Africa is frightening. Matriculant jobs are scarce. Matriculants looking for a job in South Africa are struggling to find one, or one that pays a decent income. There are too many unemployed youth in South Africa.

Do ALL matriculants or those students soon to matriculate think that they are going to find a job and start working straight after they get their matric results?

Well some matriculants want to study further, if they can meet university entrance requirements, and obtain a degree, but a degree doesn’t guarantee they will find a job either.

Do matrics and matriculants realise how many people they have to compete against when looking for a job?

The reality of competition:

All matrics in one town in South Africa finish matric with the plan to get a job.
Looking for a job may happen:


during or after further studies;

during or after taking a gap year

Imagine you’re a matriculant in this group, in the group that immediately starts looking for a job in your town.

You are competing against other matriculants in your town who are also immediately looking for a job;

You are competing against the matriculants from the year before who are still looking for a job;

You are competing against earlier matriculants who went on to study further and are now ready to start looking for a job too;

You are competing against older and often more experienced people who are looking for a job in your town, because they:
have been retrenched and need a new job;
have decided to look for a job that pays more than the job they already have;
have moved to your town from another town and need to work;
have been fired and need a new job;
are looking for a job to work for the first time because their family needs the extra income (for example a mom or wife who used to not work and just stay home, but who now wants to bring extra income into the household.)

It’s not just “I’ll finish matric and get a job.” Matriculants are up against a lot of people competing for that same job.

And if you are still looking for a job a year later, or a better job, you have to compete against the new matriculants too.

And there are just not that many job vacancies available.

How can matriculants improve their chances of getting a job?

They can learn the basic steps to getting a job after matric (and follow through), or start their own business. The South African youth unemployment rate can be decreased.


Youth entrepreneurship awareness in South Africa is increasing.
What is youth entrepreneurship? Youth entrepreneurship is about the youth starting their own businesses. Youth entrepreneurship is about the youth becoming entrepreneurs to make a living. If they cannot find a job, they can turn to entrepreneurship and start their own business instead.

With more businesses starting up, there is also the opportunity for more job vacancies to be filled – in these new businesses, when the owners see growth in their business, they need more staff to help them cope with the work.

Matriculants! You can start your own business!

There are even free ways to start your own business or to become self-employed!

To matriculants (or parents of matriculants):

Youth entrepreneurship is not a bad thing!


What is unemployment?
Unemployment is what you experience when you are unemployed. Unemployment is the name given to the situation of being without a job. “There is so much unemployment in South Africa.” “Many of my friends are unemployed.” Being unemployed is depressing.

What is claiming unemployment benefits?
Claiming unemployment benefits is what some people choose to do when they have lost their job or stopped working for an employer. They need to meet certain requirements and get documentation ready before claiming unemployment benefits. If their application to claim unemployment benefits is accepted, they earn unemployment benefits in the form of money, while they look for another job.

What is unemployment insurance?
An unemployment insurance fund, or UIF, is for claiming unemployment benefits. You “insure” yourself against the possibility of being without work, by having your employer register you for UIF when you start workng for that employer. You have a small amount deducted from your salary each month, that goes into your unemployment insurance fund.

You cannot attempt to claim unemployment benefits unless you had a job in the first place, and contributed to the UIF every month for a certain time period.

Cannot find a job? Start your own business.

© Copyright Teresa Schultz 2012 and 2013

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