Following a long, gruelling year of studying tirelessly, grade 12 graduates are now faced with deciding on their next steps which may be to study further, join the labour force, or take a 2017 gap year.
School-leavers should not wait to invest in their career growth.
Matric results for the class of 2016 were released on Wednesday, 04 January 2017, with a national pass rate of 72.5%. This means that over 100,000 young and enthusiastic individuals have their certificate in hand and are ready to take the next step in building their careers.
In respect of the unemployment rate which currently stands at 27.1%, youth remain vulnerable in the labour market due to high levels of youth unemployment which currently is at 38.2%. So, matriculates need to be cognisant of the current trends in the job market and start looking at various growth avenues available to them now, to position themselves as attractive to employers in the tough job market.
Despite the national pass rate of 72.5%, it is important to remember that not all members of the class of 2016 achieved university entrance.
We need to acknowledge that getting a matric with an Admission Point Score (APS) that guarantees university entrance is a goal for most matriculates, however, not everyone achieves this. This leaves many with a basic matric certificate and somewhat limited options.
School-leavers from top-achieving graduates to those who may need to redo the year - should consider the following options in order to grow professionally following matric:
• Consider trade courses, tradespeople and artisans are in high demand. Entering into these professions usually requires a diploma, on-the-job training or an apprenticeship programme. These jobs also offer good opportunities and great earning potential.
• Learnerships can afford you good job prospects, they offer school-leavers training and a salary at the same time – this can benefit those who are in need of some form of income while learning.
• It is never too early to become an entrepreneur. If you do not want to tap into the job market, then why not start your own business? With the right attitude, starting your own business is a great option.
• As a school-leaver, years of learning and work await you. To gain the right life-skills, volunteering can be the best alternative. Not only will it improve your career profile, but it will also refine your career goals, and help you find your calling.
• Re-do some of your matric subjects where you scored lower, this will assist you to gain that university entrance or get into the course you want to do in tertiary. Subjects such as mathematics, accounting and science are vital for many tertiary courses.
• For those who have failed their matric, this is not the end of the world - but rather a learning curve. Find out when supplementary exams are written beforehand, and diarise them. Consider re-working your subjects at a local college while working part-time during the weekends or in the afternoons to accumulate work experience. Doing this while completing your schooling is a great way to kick starting your careers.
Having worked so hard for their matric results, the class of matric 2017 need to prioritise their careers now, this will help them greatly in securing their future.
Kay Vittee is the CEO of Kelly.