Youth Unemployment Stats

South Africa’s youth bear the burden of the country’s unemployment burden

While the unemployment rate rose an unexpected 0,6%, South Africa is still facing a mass unemployment crisis, with 44.1% of the labour force without work in the second quarter.  This is testament to the fact the country’s jobless rate is highest of 82 nations monitored by Bloomberg.

The Quarterly Labour Force Survey released on Tuesday shows 8 million jobless people still searching for jobs, an increase from 7.9 million in Q1.  Additionally, there are 3.6 million discouraged workers and 700 000 South African’s who have stopped their job search for other reasons.

Ari Katz of Boston City Campus and Boston Media House

Stats for SA youth

“The recently released stats highlight the fact that South Africa’s youth are bearing the brunt of the unemployment burden,” says Ari Katz, CEO Boston City Campus. 

Youth aged 15-24 and 25 -34 recorded the highest unemployment rates of 61,4% and 41,2% respectively.  Approximately 3,7M (35,7%) out of 10,2 M young people aged 15-24 years were not in employment education or training (NEET). This means that more than 1 out 0f 3 young South Africans between these ages were disengaged with the labour market, precluding them from gaining experience or further skills and perpetuating intergenerational poverty.

The NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) rate, seen in conjunction with high youth unemployment rate of over 60%, suggests that the youth face extreme difficulties engaging with the labour market in South Africa.


“Companies and institutions need to actively participate in providing and sourcing gainful employment for these youth” says Katz. “We need to be as proactive and as active as possible. We at Boston have an entire department dedicated to coaching, mentoring and assisting students who are in the job-seek space. Students and graduates have a gap in exposure to workplace behaviours and they need extra input in order to secure great jobs!”

Jobs in demand

CareerJunction reported that year-on-year, hiring activity has increased by 23% between June 2021 and June 2022.  However, we need to be cognisant of which skills are in demand when we choose a qualifcation.  

Vacancies over 2022, show these sectors as the most highly sought after:  Finance Sales IT Business & Management Manufacturing & Assembly Admin, Office & Support Building & Construction,.


According to Stats SA, Graduates faired better in the workplace environment with the graduate unemployment rate at 10.2%,


Graduates need a holistic set of skills – both in terms of their field of expertise, technical know-how to participate in an increasingly digitised work environment and also so called soft skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem solving, self-discipline and time management.


Recent data from Boston Consulting Group  reports that “there is more than 50% of a skills mismatch between the current South African workforce and the demands of the work environment.” This means that we need to be careful when choosing a qualification, but also that we need to adopt a mindset of lifelong learning and upskill even if we are in a job, to remain relevant.   


“Skills mismatch (where graduates don’t have the skills to meet the demand, or find themselves in a job where they can’t perform because they have inappropriate skills)  is a key contributing factor to the jobless crisis,” says Katz.  “It is essential for tertiary institutions to have direct communication and interaction with the workplace, so as to create an efficient ecosystem that supplies matching skills to quality jobs in order to build our economy and stimulate graduate entry into the workplace.”


This requires a reciprocal interaction by education and private business – where corporations manage training programming and upskilling their employers so that education is informed.


“Additionally, government need to take the necessary steps to improve the responsiveness of education and training and academic institutions to develop the necessary qualifications to facilitate skills delivery and meet the evolving needs of the business environment,” says Katz.

The new rules for landing a job in the COVID Era

The new rules for landing a job in the COVID Era  (or Building a Resilient Approach to Your Job Search during COVID-19)

The economic slowdown resulting from the pandemic has catalysed changes in the job seeking landscape.  And with unemployment at a record high in South Africa, job searching requires new strategies in order to successfully navigate this changed environment.

“Whether you are a graduate or someone wanting to make a career change, understanding how COVID has altered the job search market can help accelerate the achievement of finding employment,” says Natalie Rabson, Wellness and Career Guidance Counsellor at Boston City Campus.

Natalie recommends the following strategies for successfully landing a job in the COVID era.

What is the most effective way to job hunt now?

It is ironic that in a time of social distancing, connecting and connection have become more important than ever.

This is the time to reinvent your networking strategy.  Whether it’s joining a group online or starting a conversation over a social media post: it’s time to make yourself visible.  Post articles.  Engage in comments and conversations to show your knowledge on a topic.  Catch up with former colleagues.

How has CV writing changed?

Overcoming the first hurdle of getting the job is to get your CV through the applicant tracking system known as ATS.  This means including keywords such as the skills and experience mentioned in the job spec, relating these requirements to previous work experience.

Further illustrate your competency with links to published work and include relevant work samples.

“Flexibility is a key quality, especially during this time of unprecedented changes brought on by Covid-19.  Share examples of how you adapted or pivoted during this time, showing your ability to apply your skills to support changing business needs.

Do my skills need enhancing or refreshing?

Improving your existing skills or acquiring new skills can boost your employability.  Use job posts as a guide to see which skills are in demand.

“Learning a new skill can enhance your current offering or even change your career trajectory if you are wanting a new direction,” says Natalie.   “This could be through avenues such as online courses, a personal project or job shadowing.”

Where to look

Check out LinkedIn and other job sites such as or for employment opportunities.  Look on LinkedIn to see if you have a contact who can introduce you to a company where you would like to work.  Boston Graduates have the advantage of taking part in the Graduate+ programme which assist both with recruitment tactics and CV building through online modules, cv assessment, interview coaching and more.

Recruitment updates can also be found on Twitter and LinkedIn by following people or companies in fields you want to pursue.

Has job interviewing changed?

Most interviews are still being conducted online.  And in this scenario, first impressions count. Unlike a face-to-face meeting where you can enter a room, shake hands, make eye contact etc, your visual presence makes the greatest impact in the online environment.

It is important to be as comfortable as possible in the virtual environment. This means rehearsing in a mock interview situation to prepare yourself by roleplaying with a colleague or friend.  Extend this to knowing your way around the video communications app.  This creates an overall good impression while increasing your confidence levels.

“Support yourself further by writing out key points about your skills in advance in relation to the job requirements.  Post the list near the camera to avoid looking down,” says Natalie.

What are the basic Do’s and Don’ts for a positive virtual communication style?

  • Do look at the camera.  That is the equivalent of making eye contact.
  • Avoid looking at your own image as this makes you seem distracted.
  • Rest your hands on your lap or your desk rather than folding your arms across your chest.
  • Avoid side and back lighting as this will cause a shadow on your face or create a silhouette image of you. Face your largest light source (usually a window) directly in front of you.
  • Make sure your camera is at the same level as your eyes so that people are not looking up at or down on you.
  • Make sure your surroundings are tidy and appropriate.
  • Lastly smile.  It’ll put both you and your interviewer more at ease.

How to stay upbeat and Overcome self-doubt  

Job hunting requires perseverance.   The trick is to keep at it, despite any disappointments along the way, to ensure success at the end.

Focus on what you can control such as enhancing your CV, strengthening your online connections and presence and learning new skills – all of which can boost your confidence.

“Keep in mind that despite the fact that it may take time, it is a temporary situation. And while it’s important to prioritize your job search, focus on other areas too.  Spending time with friends, reading an uplifting book or other nurturing activities will help support you through this time while giving you  a positive outlook, enabling you to build a resilient approach to the post-Covid-19 job market,” concludes Natalie.



How to create a winning formula in job searching

How to create a winning formula in job searching

Whether you are just starting out in your job search or looking to upgrade your current position, applying effective strategies can help make your search easier.

Wondering just where to start? Branch Manager of Boston City Campus, Maponya Mall, Merriam Koqo‑Hlengane​ provides her top tips on conducting an effective job search.

Setting time aside

Create momentum by allocating a specific amount of time for research, setting up appointments and following up on applications.

“Prepare the night before, setting up your list, so that you create an organized infrastructure allowing you to start right away,” says Koqo‑Hlengane who suggests setting targets for the number of calls and appointments you want to achieve.


Anticipate that there may be some challenging times, when you may experience frustration because things aren’t moving as quickly as you would like.  See this time as a process.  Some days may be relatively quiet.  Be gentle with yourself, knowing that ups and downs are a natural part of job searching.  The most important thing is to take action, keep the momentum going and have faith in yourself.


Think of people who are already in your network and who would be able to make any recommendations where you can apply. Former colleagues, managers or people from graduate school should all have some ideas. (Boston itself has a consulting office created to assist graduates in job searches). Try LinkedIn and see who you can contact digitally.

“LinkedIn is also an excellent place to find jobs in your particular field. A LinkedIn profile can serve as a good advertisement of your competencies and experience to prospective employers and HR managers,” says Koqo‑Hlengane​.

Your online footprint

It is common practice for future employees to research your online profile in order to find out more about you.  A LinkedIn profile can enhance someone’s impression of you.  The flip side of the coin is true as well – ensure your online social media profiles would be acceptable to a potential employer.

The Covering letter

Once you find a job or company where you want to apply, create a covering letter, highlighting your key qualities and experience in relation to the particular job specifications.

Where to look

Google is your friend when it comes to your job search.  Keywords such as your industry + the position you are looking for will bring up specific sites dealing with your particular field and offering relevant positions.

“Searching online helps you to get to know the job market and what is being offered out there,” says Koqo‑Hlengane.  “It can also help you to see if you need to brush up on any skills. Take  the appropriate steps to increasing your eligibility in finding your ideal position.”

What are you offering?

Write down your skills: soft skills such as having a strong work ethic, being a team player, solution orientated, communication and adaptability and love of learning.  Note your strengths – professional competencies in which you excel and which can make you an ideal candidate.

Continuous learning

Whether you are just starting out or if you are looking to take the next step in your career, it is important to sustain your relevancy in your industry through continuous learning.  There are many short courses or even additional degrees or post-graduate diplomas to such as a Postgraduate Diploma in Management which can be studied part-time and which can set you on a career path of success.

Prepare for your interview

Prepare mentally for your interview by going over the possible questions and seeing yourself answering them.  You can even do a mock interview with a colleague or friend, helping you to be more prepared and more relaxed in the actual interview situation.

Take action

You have to know that you are going to get Yes’s and No’s.  Prepare yourself –you need to persevere.

“Make this into a learning experience,” says Koqo‑Hlengane. Always try to get feedback if things don’t work out – it helps you grow professionally and personally.

Keep on.  Face the challenges.  Be flexible. If a strategy isn’t working, then maybe you need to adjust it.  Eventually, you are going to find your match.  You’ve got this!” Concludes the Boston Branch Manager.