Emerging Leaders Institute
"Believe You Can Fly!"
For immediate release

16 January 2017


As the excitement for the class of 2016 begins to subside, the grim reality of securing employment in South Africa is another hurdle they’ll have to face as unemployment rates continue to soar.  

According to education experts, the quality of education standards in the country has also regressed and thus, the National Senior Certificate (NSC) is no longer viewed as valuable as it used to. Hence the reason securing your NSC is only, the first step in the education cycle currently needed in South Africa to secure employment.

A recent open letter by Dr Jonathan Jansen, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Free State that was published on Business Live - January 2017, on current education in South Africa, quotes Dr Jansen warning matriculants that the standard of education is very low and even the top performers are not as smart as they think.

“Passing grade 12 in South Africa is actually quite easy, and it means very little. The standards are low and the marks are adjusted upwards for most subjects,” said Jansen.

This paints a very gloomy future for matriculants entering the job market. Employment experts have further warned that only about 7% of matriculants find employment. Currently the higher education system has space for only 18% of matriculants, usually taking the top best in the country, then the system is full.  Alternatives are other Further Education Training (FET) colleges, or trade schools. Youth unemployment rate stands at a staggering 50%, according to recent report by Statistics South Africa.

This report further suggests that young people in the South African labour market bore the brunt of the economic crisis. Over the period 2008–2015, key labour market rates deteriorated by a larger margin among youth compared with adults, and the frustration of not finding employment has led many young people to become discouraged and exit the labour force altogether.

There is a need for more matriculants to focus on other education courses to upskill themselves so that they are employable. As the job market is also under strain with the current economic issues, jobs are a scarce resource. Employers are also looking to hire more skilled matriculants and with just a NSC your chances are limiting.

Professor Ihron Rensburg, vice-chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, provided a practical solution for unemployed matriculants. He emphasised the fact that the standard of education in South Africa has lowered, and that matriculants need to increase their skills base by doing short courses that can add value to the job market.

“If you want to enter the job market, a shorter course at credible colleges and institutions is the way to go. A National Senior Certificate (NSC) is increasingly less valued by the labour market. Ten years ago, an NSC was very highly valued; that’s no longer the case. You need to have a NSC, plus something else (like a short course) to become employable,” says Rensburg.

Henry PC Meyer, Founder of Emerging leaders Institutes, says “The Emerging leaders institute is one such organisation that is helping to curb the country’s educational burden, by offering short courses to unemployed matriculants, that prepares them with adequate skills for the job market. The course boasts a high success rate and had empowered past graduates to branch out into different careers.

ELI has partnered with a number of stakeholders in various sectors and will provide a one-stop shop for ELI graduates at the Nelson Mandela Gateway Auditorium. Representatives from these sectors will use this platform to assist with practical and sustainable solutions and thus enabling them to carve a successful career for their future.”



Issued by: Emerging Leaders Institute