The start of the New Year often ushers in renewed hope for many unemployed South Africans. Recruitment agencies say they are seeing an increase in job applications at the beginning of the year. But these agencies have warned that searching for a job these days also requires a skill that many do not have.
The past two years have been quite unfavourable for the job market. Unemployment in South Africa was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many lost their jobs and are still struggling to re-enter the labour market.
While the start of the year it’s a time when more people are motivated to actively look for work, a labour expert says there shouldn’t be idle time to seek employment. However, private companies should also come to the party in creating more job opportunities.
Policy and Economic analyst Mamokgethi Molopyane says, “I have always argued that it cannot be the public sector or the government’s role to try and create employment at most it can facilitate the environment that enables employment creation, however, a private sector has to come on board and we know that for over 8, 10 years that has not been the case, the dynamics in the political landscape are such that there has been a reluctance on the part of the private sector to put the money in terms of investing in job-creating initiatives.”
Recruitment agencies say a big mistake that job seekers make is assuming that recruitment agencies will get them a job. However, this is not the case.
Recruitment Agency South Africa Sean Hughes says, “A lot of job seekers have a misunderstanding that recruitment agencies are there to help to find a job, we don’t do that we help companies to find people, so job seekers are phoning agencies are saying do you have a vacancy and we don’t and obviously that job seeker then gets demotivated.”
Many job seekers say they are disheartened with the prospects of getting employment. But some say even in this case they must continue job hunting.
“I plan to go out and look for a job because I’ve been trying to get a job to no avail, people have their people that they want to employ. However, I’ll continue to try and look for a job even though I don’t know whether or not I’ll get it,” says a job seeker.
Another job seeker adds, “You do go out and look for a job but when you get there you find that there is a queue, you leave your CV and they tell you that they will call. But you end up waiting for that call to find that they don’t call you back.”
“I don’t have faith in the employment system as there are foreign nationals in the townships now so I’ve decided to continue cutting grass to be able to feed myself.” A job seeker explains.
Job seekers are advised to take their CV’s seriously. Many young South Africans fail to secure a job because they lack the necessary skill of finding a job and do not possess the know-how of using modern technology to better their chances of finding employment.
Managing Director of Advaita Vidya, Sinead Chetty says, “They need to go out there and proactively put themselves into the database of these hiring companies because the thing about us being in South Africa we look at the unemployment rate and we think oh my gosh there are no jobs out there, there is nothing there for me but let me tell you there is something called the hidden job market.”
The unemployment rate in South Africa jumped to a new record high of 34.9% in the third quarter of last year.
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