Fighting the unemployment battle

Unemployment in South Africa is one of the country’s worst epidemics. The current unemployment rate in the country sits at 26.5% for persons aged between 15 and 64 years of age. With people from the tender age of 15 unable to find work, it means that unemployment hits the youth harder than any other age group. 

The youth have better opportunities to receive education now compared to previous generations, who were not as fortunate to have bursaries and assisting funds. Jobs, nevertheless, are scarce. As soon as graduates leave the hall or matriculants leave school, they are labelled ‘unemployed’ and some stay that way for a long time.  

The evolution of technology is one of the biggest reasons why people are unable to find work. Machinery can do jobs ten times faster and cheaper than people. Space and funds are other big factors that prevent companies from taking on more staff. The top undeniable major problem with finding work is ‘experience’. On every job listing or application, you are required to have experience – companies want people who know what they are doing and who have done it before. 

But how does one get this experience while learning? 

Internship: Companies are always looking for interns who can shadow professionals and run small errands, which not only assists the business but also helps shape the intern’s idea of the working world. 

Volunteering: Unfortunately, this method does not pay and sometimes does not pertain to whatever goal or job you have your sights set on. Fortunately, volunteering is mostly experienced in a charitable setting which may impress your future employers. Bonus points for helping others through this noble act of kindness.  

Sometimes the institution you are studying at arranges for formal work experience with various companies. This adds quite a few lines on your CV. 

Freelancing: Assisting others with your talent could never hurt anyone. This option also pays well and adds to your experience and references.  

Part-time work: Probably the greatest option, but the hardest one to find. This could take place on weekends, which many companies are a bit flimsy about, but there are certain companies that have programmes designed for students only, so keep your eyes peeled. 

Sources of Information:  CollegeXpress, Career Planning, Target Careers. 

Image One, Source: Forbes. 

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