Views and experiences of unemployed youth graduates : a case study of the Polokwane area, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Mokgohloa, Dolores (2006-04)

Thesis (MPhil) -- University of Stellenbosch, 2006.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : Since 1995 unemployment among graduates in South Africa has increased significantly. While unemployment rates have increased across all racial groups it is especially African youth who carries the burden of unemployment. The Limpopo Province which has a predominantly rural African population was selected for this study as this province faces great challenges concerning unemployment among young graduates. A qualitative study was undertaken in the area of Polokwane in the Limpopo Province to explore the views and experiences of a group of unemployed youth graduates regarding their unemployed status. Using a case study research design semi-structured interviews were conducted with six unemployed youths (three male and three female) between the ages of 24 and 31 years. These participants hold national diplomas and degrees from South African universities and technikons. The findings of the study were analysed using Atlas.ti, which is a qualitative data analysis computer programme. The analysis of data showed that unemployed graduates come from poor family backgrounds, where they are expected to provide for their families and financially support their younger brothers and sisters to attend school. Some of the participants were found to be financially dependent on their parents and/or friends. Female participants who have children were found to be especially vulnerable given that the fathers of their children do not take financial responsibility for the children. Members of the communities in which the participants reside were reported to have negative reactions towards some of the participants when the latter are unable to find employment. Participants were found to have different views as to whether their qualifications are indeed marketable within the South African context and some were of the opinion that the institutions they attended had a negative influence on their marketability. According to participants the causes of unemployment amongst graduates were lack of work experience, high population and low economic growth, redeployment, lack of networks in the workplace, lack of interview skills, lack of career guidance and failure of workplaces to implement affirmative action. Regarding possible effects of unemployment it was found that participants experience low morale, frustration and low self-esteem. It emerged from the study that participants are informed about programmes that aim to address the problem of unemployment among young graduates. These interventions were said to be only temporary solutions and participants do not regard them as being successful in addressing unemployment. It was revealed that the Government Youth Fund is not delivering services to poor rural youth who want to start their own businesses. It is suggested that future research focuses on the evaluation of programmes that aim to address youth unemployment and examines whether higher education is providing careers which are in demand in the labour market.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Sedert 1995 het werkloosheid onder gegradueerders in Suid-Afrika 'n sterk toename getoon. Terwyl werkloosheid onder alle rassegroepe toegeneem het, is dit veral Swart jeugdiges wat die probleem ondervind. Die Limpopo Provinsie met 'n hoofsaaklik swart landelike bevolking is vir hierdie studie geselekteer aangesien hierdie provinsie voor groot uitdagings met betrekking tot werkloosheid onder jong gegradueerdes te staan kom. 'n Kwalitatiewe studie is in die Polokwane area in die Limpopo Provinsie ondemeem ten einde die persepsies en ervarings van 'n groep werklose gegradueerde jeugdiges rakende hul werkloosheid te eksploreer. Die studie maak gebruik van die gevallestudie as navorsingsontwerp. Semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude is gevoer met ses werklose jeugdiges ( drie mans en drie vroue) tussen die ouderdomme van 24 en 31 jaar. Die jeugdiges beskik oor nasionale diplomas en grade van Suid-Afrikaanse universiteite en technikons. Atlas.ti, 'n rekenaarprogram vir kwalitatiewe data analise, is gebruik om die bevindings te ontleed. 'n Analise van die data toon dat die werklose gegradueerdes vanuit 'n arm gesinsagtergrond afkomstig is waar daar van hulle verwag word om hul gesinne te ondersteun en finansieel by te dra tot die skoolopleiding van hul jonger broers en susters. Sommige van die jeugdiges is finansieel van hul ouers en/of vriende afhanklik. Sommige van die jong vroue wat kinders het is besonder kwesbaar aangesien die vaders van hul kinders nie finansiele ondersteuning bied nie. Jeugdiges rapporteer dat lede van die gemeenskappe waaruit hul afkomstig is negatief teenoor sommige van hulle reageer indien hulle werkloos is. J eugdiges se sienings van die bemarkbaarheid van hulle kwalifikasies binne die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks verskil en sommige was van mening dat die opvoedkundige inrigtings wat hulle bygewoon het 'n negatiewe invloed op hul 'markwaarde' het. Volgens die jeugdiges is die oorsake van werkloosheid onder gegradueerdes gebrekkige werkervaring, hoe bevolking- en lae ekonomiese groei, gebrek aan netwerke in die werkplek, gebrek aan onderhoudsvaardighede en beroepsvoorligting en die feit dat werkplekke nie regstellende aksie implementer nie. Wat betref die gevolge van werkloosheid is bevind dat jeugdiges 'n lae moreel, frustrasie en lae selfbeeld ervaar. Uit die studie hlyk dit dat jeugdiges oor inligting heskik hetreffende programme wat ten doel het om werkloosheid onder jong gegradueerdes aan te spreek. Hierdie intervensies word egter as tydelike maatreels heskou en word nie gesien dat dit suksesvolle oplossings vir werkloosheid hied nie. Dit is duidelik dat die Government Youth Fund nie die nodige infrastruktuur aan landelike jeugdides hied om hul eie ondememings te vestig nie. Daar word aanheveel dat toekomstige navorsing sal fokus op die evaluasie van intervensie programme wat daarop gemik is om die werkloosheid onder jeugdiges aan te spreek sowel as die mate waartoe instellings van hoer opvoeding voorhereiding hied vir loophane wat in die arheidsmark in aanvraag is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50672
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