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Matric Report 2012

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Unfortunately, a matric certificate is not really the best preparation for the modern work environment, trade union Solidarity said today on the announcement of the 2012 matric results. In a report on job prospects for matrics, the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) revealed today that the South African labour market was still not friendly towards young people, even if they could produce a matric certificate. The modern economy demands more: more knowledge and the ability to apply such knowledge. For that reason the union advises the matric class of 2012 to obtain further education.

Paul Joubert, senior economics researcher at the SRI, said the high unemployment rate in South Africa is not really surprising against the background of a modern knowledge-based economy, since fewer than 12% of the adult population possess tertiary training. “Matriculants wishing to enter the labour market in 2013 will probably struggle to find a job – especially a well remunerated job. According to the report, only 50% of those with a matric certificate as highest qualification are employed. That is but a meagre improvement on the 30% of people with no education who are employed. As opposed to this, some 80% of those with some sort of tertiary qualification are employed. Therefore, the best option remains to get further education. Even those who have failed matric and who have no appetite for repeating it may enrol for further training, as post-school training does not have to be at a university.”

According to Joubert, it was abundantly clear that the income of a working person is quite markedly influenced by training. “Only about 10% of people who left school during their high school career and who did not obtain any further qualification earn more than R6 400 a month. On the other hand, almost 30% of those with a matric certificate as highest qualification earn more than R6 400 a month, and 13% earn more than R12 800 a month. Of the group who went on to obtain a certificate or diploma, more than half earn R6 400 a month, 30% more than R12 800 a month, and 9,1% more than R25 600 a month. Generally, these figures show exactly what is expected: the more time (and money) one invests in education, the greater the reward. The figures also show that new graduates should not expect to earn the same salaries as older employees with more experience right from the start with their first employer. Generally however, people can expect their remuneration to rise quite rapidly in line with increasing experience, especially better qualified people.”

Joubert said part of the reason why so many matriculates find it difficult to land a job, or why they earn so little if they do find a job, is simply that they lack either the right subjects or the required marks in the right subjects.

“A very small number of matriculants achieve meaningful results in key subjects every year. In 2011 only 15 771 matrics achieved 60% or higher in Accounting, only 24 577 achieved 60% or higher in Mathematics, and only 21 840 achieved 60% or higher in Physical Science. Typically, this group is in any case also the matrics who opt for further studies rather than directly entering the labour market on leaving school. Notwithstanding the regular official euphoria over an improved pass rate, these pitiable figures are the output of the school system year after year. This tiny pool of matriculants has to produce South Africa’s professionals such as auditors, engineers, doctors and people in other technical fields. This is good news for the matrics concerned but bad news for South Africa’s economic prospects.”

As an alternative to dysfunctional state colleges, Solidarity founded Sol-Tech, a private technical college, in 2006. The medium of tuition is Afrikaans, and the college trains approximately 600 apprentices as electricians, millwrights, fitters and turners, and diesel mechanics annually. The college has a pass rate of more than 95%. In addition, Solidarity has established Akademia, a new training institution broadcasting Afrikaans courses in other study fields from a central campus to other parts of the country via a telematic system. Solidarity’s ultimate goal is the construction of a new campus in Pretoria; the site would accommodate both an extended Sol-Tech and the new telematic college.

Click here to view the Solidarity Research Institute’s Matric Report 2012.

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