DEPUTY Minister of the Department of Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana said it saddened the department to see university and college students returning home with degrees but being unable to find employment.
Manana was addressing pupils during a career expo at the end of the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) month at Ikhala engineering campus in Ezibeleni on Friday.
He said the department declared August as TVET month in 2013 with the aim to hold career exhibitions across the country, engaging young people on making relevant career choices.
“High school pupils have been visiting colleges and engineering workshops trying to know more about TVET colleges and what they have to offer for them to make informed decisions.
“We have been asking the question of why we have such a high unemployment rate. We partly attribute this to a lack of career guidance and lack of information to those who find themselves in this awkward position.”
Manana said long ago a university degree was a guarantee for employment.
“We know youth prefer going to universities than colleges. There is a wrong belief that TVET colleges are not up to scratch and that they offer substandard education. We are here to try and demystify that. We are not downplaying universities – they have a role to play in society. We are saying some must proceed to university while the majority must go to colleges.”
On the contrary, he said TVET colleges offered higher chances of employment.
The purpose of the campaign was to prevent the growing number of graduates who return, from becoming a burden on families and communities.
He encouraged companies to give work exposure to students in order to qualify as artisans.