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Original Research

Graduate unemployment in South Africa: Perspectives from the banking sector

Faith Oluwajodu, Derick Blaauw, Lorraine Greyling, Ewert P.J. Kleynhans

SA Journal of Human Resource Management; Vol 13, No 1 (2015), 9 pages. doi: 10.4102/sajhrm.v13i1.656

Submitted: 23 July 2014
Published:  16 April 2015


Orientation: South Africa is experiencing growth in its graduate labour force, but graduateunemployment is rising with the overall unemployment rate. Graduate unemployment isproblematic, because it wastes scarce human capital, which is detrimental to the economy inthe long run.

Research purpose: This study explores the perceived causes of graduate unemployment fromthe perspective of the South African banking sector.

Motivation for the study: Researchers have conducted various studies on graduateunemployment in South Africa and across the globe, but few studies have beenconducted on the causes of graduate unemployment. There appear to be some gaps in theliterature; therefore, other problems and solutions to graduate unemployment have to beexplored

Research approach, design and method: The researchers followed a survey design. Questionnaires and face-to-face interviews were used as research instruments to identify theperceived causes of graduate unemployment in the banking sector of South Africa. Researchparticipants were unemployed graduates, recently employed graduates and graduaterecruitment managers in the banking sector.

Main findings: The study shows that several factors are perceived to be the causes of graduateunemployment in the South African banking sector. These include: skills, institution attendedby graduate and differences in expectations from employers and graduates.Practical/managerial application: The findings have implications for educational institutionsand companies that are encouraged to consider possible solutions to resolving the causes ofgraduate unemployment.

Contribution/value-add: This study is one of the first papers to investigate the causes ofgraduate unemployment in the South African banking sector. It provides a rich platform forfurther studies and replication in other sectors, especially within the African context.

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Author affiliations

Faith Oluwajodu, Department of Economics and Econometrics, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Derick Blaauw, School of Economics, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Lorraine Greyling, Department of Economics and Econometrics, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Ewert P.J. Kleynhans, School of Economics, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


Human capital, skills, higher education, training, labour, financial institutions


Total abstract views: 6629
Total article views: 32079  


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