A new empowerment scheme will expose graduates to the work environment to better their chances of finding permanent jobs.
While youth unemployment remains a persistent concern in South Africa, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has partnered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to address the challenge.
The two institutions recently launched a graduate programme to give 50 unemployed graduates work experience in various fields for 12 months.
The successful applicants have been placed at NSFAS’s offices in the Western Cape.
NSFAS administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen, said the aim of the initiative is to address unemployment challenges facing the youth in the country, especially beneficiaries of the financial aid scheme.
“As NSFAS, we are at the forefront of addressing [students’] frustrations and are the first ones to see the impact that unemployment has on many graduates,” he said.
One of the 50 beneficiaries is Luchulumanco Nanto (24), who completed his National Diploma in Accounting at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in 2018.
He said he found out about the programme through a social-media group that he belongs to on campus, on which he and fellow graduates share job opportunities.
“I am going to gain practical knowledge of what I have studied and this will also prepare me for the realities of a workplace environment,” said Nanto, who is now studying towards a BTech in Taxation at CPUT.
Nanto and his four siblings were raised by a single mother who could not afford to pay his university fees.
“My father passed away when I was just 10,” said Nanto, who hails from King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape.
Fortunately, he received a bursary from the State Information Technology Agency.
Nanto encourages young people to consider going through a graduate programme before applying for permanent jobs because it will enhance their skills and work ethic at the right pace while enjoying the benefits of being exposed to the world of work.