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Graduate Unemployment In The Face Of Skills Shortages: A Labour Market Paradox

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  • K. Pauw
  • M. Oosthuizen
  • C. Van der westhuizen

Abstract

Analysts agree that South Africa's unemployment is structural in the sense that the unemployed generally possess lower skills than what is required by the economy. In the context of increasing demand for skilled workers due to technological changes and the need to become globally more competitive, graduates would be expected to find employment without difficulty. However, against expectations unemployment has been increasing among young people with tertiary qualifications since 1995. This paper investigates the nature of this phenomenon. Evidence suggests that learners are inadequately prepared for both tertiary studies and entry into the labour market. Lack of, or inadequate career guidance means that they do not choose fields of study and types of qualifications with good employment prospects. In addition, lack of soft skills and workplace experience mean that employers are reluctant to employ graduates, preferring more experienced people instead. Copyright (c) 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) Economic Society of South Africa 2008.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Economic Society of South Africa in its journal South African Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 76 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 45-57

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Handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:76:y:2008:i:1:p:45-57

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References

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  1. Kalie Pauw & Lawrence Edwards, 2005. "Evaluating the general equilibrium effects of a wage subsidy scheme for South Africa," Working Papers 21, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  2. H. Bhorat & J. Hodge, 1999. "Decomposing Shifts in Labour Demand in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 67(3), pages 155-168, 09.
  3. Rulof Burger & Ingrid Woolard, 2005. "The State of the Labour Market in South Africa after the First Decade of Democracy," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 133, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  4. Charlton Koen, 2003. "The Contribution of Technikons to Human Resources Development in South Africa," Working Papers 03080, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
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Cited by:
  1. Derek Yu, 2013. "Youth unemployment in South Africa since 2000 revisited," Working Papers 04/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  2. Servaas van der Berg & Hendrik van Broekhuizen, 2012. "Graduate unemployment in South Africa: A much exaggerated problem," Working Papers 22/2012, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  3. Burns, Justine & Edwards, Lawrence & Pauw, Karl, 2010. "Wage subsidies to combat unemployment and poverty," IFPRI discussion papers 969, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Hayley McEwen & Anthony Leiman, 2008. "The Car Guards of Cape Town: A Public Good Analysis," SALDRU Working Papers 25, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  5. Derek Yu, 2012. "Youths in the South African labour market since the transition: A study of changes between 1995 and 2011," Working Papers 18/2012, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  6. Dorothée Boccanfuso & Alexandre Larouche & Mircea Trandafir, 2011. "Quality of higher education and the labor market in developing countries: Evidence from an education reform in Senegal," Cahiers de recherche 11-17, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke, revised May 2012.
  7. Frederick C.v.N. Fourie, 2011. "The South African unemployment debate: three worlds, three discourses?," SALDRU Working Papers 63, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  8. Derek Yu, 2008. "The South African labour market: 1995 – 2006," Working Papers 05/2008, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.

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