'Starting with an unpaid internship gives you credibility for next job'

South Africa's unemployment rate has risen to 27.6% at the end of the first quarter of the year.

The unemployment rate has risen to the highest level since the third quarter of 2017.

In light of the fourth industrial revolution, are young people prepared for the job market?

Read: Unemployment at 27.6%: 'It's sad people are starting to give up the job hunt'

Pearson Institute of Higher Education director Dr Nhlanhla Thwala says most academic institutions realise that there is a need to create solutions to the high numbers of unemployment in South Africa.

Thwala shares these sentiments while talking to Nickolaus Bauer on the Xolani Gwala Show.

We are working with the youth to find out if we can deal with the problem head-on. There are many ways in which we can approach the problem, and there are many ways in which we are dealing with it.

Dr Nhlanhla Thwala, Director - Pearson Institute of Higher Education

He says when a young person gets into a tertiary institution, they need to identify what drives them and what they are passionate about.

The first part is assisting young people in understanding themselves in terms of what they would like to do going forward. Advising and giving them adequate information in terms of what they can do and what they are good at.

Dr Nhlanhla Thwala, Director - Pearson Institute of Higher Education

Thwala says once young people get to tertiary, they also need to understand what the foundation skills are required to get to the next level.

So part one is getting the sense that you must acquire the ability to read, write and communicate with other people and get to grips with the subject you are studying. Once done, we then must ask how you can apply what you learnt, both in theory and practice. That is where we get it wrong in universities, we are good at teaching theory, but in terms of the application of the method to the real world, is a problem.

Dr Nhlanhla Thwala, Director - Pearson Institute of Higher Education

Thwala urges young people starting in the job market to accept low paying jobs as everyone must start somewhere.

Think about the end and not where you start, starting even with an unpaid internship, gives you credibility for getting the next job.

Dr Nhlanhla Thwala, Director - Pearson Institute of Higher Education

He says the employment sector needs to create an environment where young people can thrive because they bring value.

Listen below to the full interview:


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