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Matrics need to get foot on the job ladder first says trade union uasa

Getting on the job ladder is often more important than the type of job you get, and this year’s matriculants are well advised to be prepared to work hard, to send out a lot of CV’s and to go the extra mile to get a foot on that first step of the ladder.


UASA spokesperson André Venter says matriculants and other job seekers must be prepared to educate themselves on these matters.

“You, the matriculated job seeker, are the one in control, you decide whether you want to be on top of things or a hapless victim. In order to help job seekers reach their goals, UASA is publishing its new guide for employees, WorkWize, in collaboration with Steve Hoffman Publications, later this month,” says Venter.

Economist Mike Schüssler, who is reponsible for the trade union UASA’s annual Employment Report, says employers are looking at people that can add  value to their firms.

“In the UASA 2010 South African Employment Report we made mention of the fact that only 40% of all adults in South Africa work. This does not mean that the unemployment rate is 60%, as some people prefer to be homemakers, or students, or have other reasons for not working. The fact of the matter is that the unemployment rate in South Africa is well over the 25% that the narrow definition gives us, and probably closer to 35%,” says Schüssler.

Schüssler says school leavers that can, should consider furthering their studies.

“For every year of study after school you will add to your ability to better your income. With this I mean that not only the amount of money that you can earn increases, but also that the chances of being unemployed decrease quite significantly.

“A person with only a grade 11 has a chance of about 36% of being unemployed, somebody with a grade 12 has a chance of about 25% of being unemployed, a person with a general tertiary education has a chance of about 11% of being unemployed, whilst somebody with a degree only has about  a 5% chance of being unemployed.

“Then we come to earning potential. A person with a postgraduate degree earns roughly 16 times more than somebody with grade 12. A qualified artisan can earn roughly 4 to 5 times more than somebody with matric. If you have at least one year’s post school education you can earn at least 20% more than a matriculant, but if you have completed a diploma or certificate course you can earn twice asmuch as someone with matric.”

Schüssler believes that most people can find a way to study further, even if this means part-time via Technicon RSA, Unisa, or a FET college. He says many places of work also offer training via the Seta system although much of this training is aimed at basic adult education. Lately the Seta system has gradually increased the course offering to include several forms of computer training.

Venter says employers want people who can help them grow their business.

“They are not only looking for people who are enthusiastic and understand the business, but who are able to help solve business problems or who can add artisan skills like welding, or sales skills, and even how to pack shelves.

“In the current difficult job market matriculants have to show the employer that they understand at least something of the tasks that they require you to do, that you can do it better than most other people and that you will fit in with the team. The employer wants to see that you can contribute positively and that you will give him something back when hired,” says Venter.

Venter says the bad news is that more job losses may be on the way in 2011 as many countries in Europe will struggle to avert a debt crisis.

“The problem is that people are often employed and then left to work things out for themselves, for example, how to integrate with new colleagues, how to handle conflict or how to be a team player.

“It is an inescapable reality that many employees struggle in these situations, which are part of everyday life in the workplace. The simple reason for this is that in many instances nobody has taken the time to guide and coach such employees through these basic steps to empower them to realise their full potential and capability,” Venter says.


The first fifty readers/listeners to sms “UASA WORKWIZE” and their name and postal address to 32545 will receive a free copy of WorkWize, published by Steve Hoffman Publications.

* Please note that WorkWize is not available in book stores or to the general public.

For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact  André Venter at 083 251 3274.

Issued by:        Helen Ueckermann

082 603 3335

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