Matriculants hoping to increase their job prospects should look to train further after school, trade union Solidarity said on Monday (6 January).
A report by the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) showed the local labour market was still difficult for young people, even if they had a matric certificate, Solidarity said in a statement.
Nearly one in three young South Africans were unemployed and not in training.
SRI senior economic researcher Paul Joubert, who compiled the report, said matriculants should not expect to find a well-paying job straight out of school.
“Of course, this is not meant to discourage young people from job-hunting for whatever jobs are available, as any work experience increases a person’s chances of finding a better job in future,” he said.
“However, the best option remains to further one’s education.”
The report showed that around 50% of job seekers with a matric certificate as their only qualification were employed.
While this was better than those without any training or qualification, with only 30% employed, 80% of people with some form of tertiary qualification were employed.
“Therefore, a matric certificate does improve a person’s chances of having a job, but a tertiary qualification improves a person’s chances of having a job significantly,” said Joubert.
Tertiary education also increased a person’s earning potential, with less than 13% of South Africa’s adult population having a tertiary qualification.
In 2011, according to the report, out of employed people with only matric certificate, 30% earned more than R6,400 a month and over 13% earned more than R12,800 a month.
Among the employed who had a matric certificate and a further tertiary qualification, 50% earned more than R6,400 a month.
More than 30% earned more than R12,800 a month, and 9.1% earned more than R25,600 a month.
“The next group, people with university degrees, higher diplomas or equivalent qualifications, shows the biggest jump in income levels,” Solidarity said.
“Almost 80% of this group earned more than R6,400 per month in 2011. More than half receive an income of more than R12,800 per month, and nearly a quarter earned more than R25,600 per month.”
About 7% earned more than R51,200 per month.