The challenges experienced by unemployed youth graduates in Botswana: An ecological systems perspective

Sebidie, Godfrey (2022-04)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2022.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Education has always been recognised as the means to achieve change, create new ideas, initiate new practices and move towards increasing prosperity. Thus, in many developing countries, tertiary education is increasingly important in facilitating a move into employment as part of an effort to increase prosperity. In Botswana, however, recent evidence suggests that graduates from the country’s tertiary institutions find it difficult to penetrate the labour market. Youth unemployment, especially graduate unemployment, has become a national concern in Botswana. It is normal for young graduates to expect to have a thriving career, yet, when these expectations are not met, unemployed graduates may face challenges in adapting to their situation. To deal with unemployment of youth graduates, the Botswana government established numerous youth intervention initiatives and programmes. However, past and current youth intervention programmes have been unable to mitigate unemployment, resulting in many youth graduates not being employed, some for as long as 10 years. Being unemployed has given rise to Botswana youth graduates having to face many challenges as their unemployed status has influenced their lives in various ways. It was established that, in Botswana, there was no general research or research from a social work perspective on the challenges that unemployed youth graduates were experiencing, which highlighted the possibility of a lack of appropriate services available to unemployed youth graduates. The ecological systems perspective was utilised to illustrate how various factors were interacting on the different systems of the ecological systems theory, as well as how these factors were affecting unemployed youth graduates. The ecological systems perspective was applied as it indicates how people encounter different environments throughout their lives that may influence their behaviour in different ways. A qualitative research approach together with exploratory and descriptive research designs were used to explore the challenges experienced by unemployed youth graduates in Botswana from an ecological systems perspective. Data was gathered through purposive and snowball sampling from the Unemployment Movement of Botswana and programme officers within the Ministry of Youth Empowerment Sport and Culture Development (MYESCD). Individual face-to-face, semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions were executed as data collection instruments. The research project took place in two phases. The first phase involved twenty unemployed youth graduates and the second phase entailed having two focus group discussions with eight programme officers from the MYESCD who had been working with unemployed youth graduates in the second phase. In total 28 participants took part in the study. Seven themes were then extracted from the participant interviews by way of thematic analysis. These themes were then further divided into subthemes and categories. It was found that unemployed youth graduates were experiencing challenges on the micro-, meso- and macro-levels of the ecological perspective. These challenges included psychological issues, for example, loss of self-esteem, sleeping disorders, depression and harbouring thoughts of suicide, physical challenges such as heart problems, headaches, and high blood pressure, as well as financial challenges such as not being able to provide for their loved ones, and being dependent on extended families. It was found that social work services were needed for unemployed youth graduates in order to promote their human dignity and rights. It is recommended that the Botswana government evaluate existing youth intervention government initiatives and programmes to determine the effectiveness thereof. It is also recommended that the government of Botswana should review the National Youth Policy of 2010 in order to adapt it to include and address current challenges experienced by unemployed youth graduates. Finally, it is recommended that needs assessment should be done to come up with programmes that are relevant and applicable to unemployed youth graduates of Botswana and that are not implemented one-size-fits all programmes.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Opleiding word beskou as die manier om verandering te bewerkstellig, nuwe idees te ontwikkel, nuwe praktyke te begin, en welvaart te skep. Dus, in menige ontwikkelende lande is tersiere onderwys uiters belangrik ten einde indiensneming te fasiliteer as deel van die poging om welvaart te ontwikkel. Tog, is daar onlangs in Botswana aangedui dat gegradueerdes van tersiere instellings, dit moeilik vind om die arbeidsmark te betree. Die werkloosheid van die jeug, en spesifiek gegradueerdes, het ’n nasionale probleem vir Botswana geraak. Vir jong gegradueerdes is dit normaal om na ’n vooruitstrewende loopbaan te streef, maar as sodanige verwagtinge nie realiseer nie, gaan die situasie vir werklose gegradueerde jongmense met baie uitdagings gepaard. Om die werkloosheid van jong gegradueerdes aan te spreek, het die regering van Botswana verskeie intervensieprogramme en -inisiatiewe van stapel gestuur. Desnieteenstaande, het vorige en hedendaagse intervensieprogramme nie daarin geslaag om die werkloosheid onder jong gegradueerdes te bekamp nie, met die gevolg dat heelwat jong gegradueerdes steeds werkloos is, sommige reeds ’n dekade lank. Om werkloos te wees het veroorsaak dat jong gegradueerdes menige uitdagings moes hanteer, aangesien hulle werkloosheidstatus hul lewens op verskeie wyses beïnvloed het. Daar is vasgestel dat geen algemene navorsing of navorsing vanuit ’n maatskaplike werksbenadering oor die uitdagings wat werklose jong gegradueerdes moet hanteer in Botswana bestaan nie. Hierdie tekort aan navorsing het aandag daarop gevestig dat daar moontlik ook ’n tekort aan toepaslike beskikbare dienste vir jong werklose gegradueerdes is. Die ekologiese sisteemteorie is aangewend om aan te dui watter interaksie daar is tussen die verskillende faktore en verskillende sisteme van die ekologiese sisteemteorie, asook hoe hierdie faktore werklose jong gegradueerdes raak. Die ekologiese sisteemteorie is toegepas omdat dit aandui hoe mense verskillende omgewings in hulle leeftyd teekom en hoe hierdie omgewings hulle gedrag op verskillende maniere beinvloed. ’n Kwalitatiewe navorsingsbenadering tesame met ’n verkennende en beskrywende navorsingsontwerp is toegepas om die uitdagings wat werklose jong gegradueerdes in Botswana ervaar vanuit ’n ekologiese sisteemperspektief te verken. Data is ingesamel deur middel van doelgerigte en sneeubalsteekproefneming vanaf die “Unemployment Movement” van Botswana en programbeamptes werksaam by die Ministery of Youth Empowerment Sport and Culture Development (MYESCD). Individuele in-persoon semi-gestruktureerde Die navorsingsprojek het in twee fases plaasgevind. Twintig werklose jong gegradueerdes was by die eerste fase van die navorsing betrokke, en twee fokusgroepbesprekings is met agt programbeamptes van die MYESCD wat met werklose jong gegradueerders gewerk het, in die tweede fase gehou. In totaal was daar 28 persone wat aan die studie deelgeneem het. Die deelnemers se onderhoude is deur middel van tematiese analise ontleed en sewe temas is aangedui. Hierdie temas is daarna in subtemas en kategoriee verdeel. Daar is vasgestel dat jong gegradueerdes uitdagings op die mikro-, meso-, en makrovlakke van die ekologiese perspektief ervaar. Hierdie uitdagings sluit enigiets in van sielkundige kwessies, byvoorbeeld, selfbeeldprobleme, slaaploosheid, depressie en gedagtes oor selfdood, fisiese uitdagings, soos hartprobleme, hoofpyne, en hoë bloeddruk, tot finansiele uitdagings soos om nie in staat te wees om vir jou geliefdes te sorg nie en om van uitgebreide gesinne afhanklik te wees. Daar is gevind dat maatskaplike werk dienste wel vir werklose jong gegradueerders benodig word ten einde hulle menslike waardighede en regte te bevorder. Dit word aanbeveel dat die regering van Botswana die bestaande jeug intervensieprogramme en regeringsinisiatiewe evalueer ten einde die sukses daarvan vas te stel. Dit word ook aanbeveel dat die regering van Botswana die Nasionale Jeugbeleid van 2010 hersien, ten einde dit aan te pas sodat die uitdagings wat die werklose jong gegradueerders moet ervaar, aangespreek word. Ten slotte, word dit aanbeveel dat ’n behoeftebepaling gedoen word sodat daar met programme vorendag gekom kan word wat relevant en toepaslik is vir die werklose jong gegradueerdes van Botswana en wat nie net algemeen van aard is nie. Die onderhoude en fokusgroepbesprekings het as instrumente van data-insameling gedien.

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