Getting a university degree is no guarantee that a person will move straight into a job. Instead, it could prove the most difficult time for a new graduate. So government set up the Unemployed Graduate Initiative.
This intiative helps jobless graduates find jobs or start their own businesses. The project was launched jointly with the Umsobomvu Youth Fund last month. As part of the project the government makes a list of unemployed graduates which is forwarded to the Umsobomvu.
This project is a response to President Thabo Mbeki’s call for a register of unemployed young graduates. Umsobomvu has formed the Jobs and Opportunities Seekers’ Database. The database contains information on jobs, learnerships, practical work, skills development and business opportunities that are available for young graduates. So far, 61 000 young graduates have registered on the database.
During the launch of the Unemployed Graduates Initiative, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said companies and government departments would find suitable candidates on the database. “Private companies and departments will have an opportunity to select graduates from different areas and those who were denied opportunities during apartheid,” she said. Companies and departments will be able to use the database to place advertisements on the internet about job opportunities. All candidates who have registered on the database will have their curriculum vitae (CVs) checked with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). The Umsobomvu chief executive officer Malose Kekana said the database will make it easier for unemployed graduates to find job opportunities that are available through its programmes and partners. “We want employers to register the positions they have on our database and that of the Sector Education Training Authority (SETA). We are happy because everybody will be a winner,” he said.
A few months ago Cabinet discussed development of young people, as part of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative (Asgi-SA). The Asgi-SA task team, headed by the Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, has been working at how to ensure that the economy grows up to 6% a year between 2010 and 2014.