According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Africa's working age population is expected to double to one billion in the next 25 years. With this is mind, a large number of Africans will be looking for work - but the crucial question is - will there be enough jobs to go around?
When Olga Mphahlele graduated in 2014 from Rosebank College, an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), she had no idea that it would be such a challenge to find employment.
Olga completed The IIE Higher Certificate in Office Administration. "I was quite confident that after graduating, everything would fall into place and that I would be considered an asset to any employer. But little did I know - there were thousands of other graduates just like me who were just as able and determined," recalls Olga.
After having to abandon further studies after graduation because of financial reasons, Olga was feeling rather discouraged. "I have four other siblings and studying further proved difficult for my parents who had other financial responsibilities at the time," says Olga.
But life changed for the better soon after when Tandokazi Tyakume, Rosebank College Regional Career Centre Coordinator based at the Pretoria CBD campus contacted Olga through the graduate tracking process. "Through graduate tracking, we call Rosebank College graduates to track their status, whether employed, unemployed or studying further. After calling I was able to determine that Olga wasn't working at the time and invited her to attend one of our sessions," says Tandokazi.
"I met Tandokazi at a career coaching session. I attended the session as I had been invited to submit my CV and thought I could learn a thing or two. During the session I was really motivated not to give up and the support I received from Tandokazi thereafter also inspired me to always put my best foot forward," says Olga.
As Rosebank College's Regional Career Centre Coordinator, Tandokazi's main responsibility is to provide assistance to graduates looking for employment. This involves career coaching graduates to best sell themselves to prospective employers, from writing a winning cover letter, compiling a CV, dressing the part and positioning oneself well in an interview.
"I provide graduates with updated information on available job opportunities, refer their CV's for suitable jobs with relevant clients and place graduates in employment. Basically my role is to equip Rosebank College graduates with the know how to succeed in the job market and to develop employment attraction skills," says Tandokazi.
Tandokazi recalls what impressed her most about Olga. "I was taken aback by her determination to succeed despite the challenges she faced at that time."
For Tandokazi it's the possibility of changing someone's life that keeps her motivated to find employment for The IIE Rosebank College graduates. "Providing career guidance, mentoring, and motivational speaking keeps me motivated and the more I assist in changing someone else's life, the more I feel humbled to continue creating positive impact."
"I believe beyond any reasonable doubt that I am born to impact and transform people's lives. I am passionate about facilitating progress, development and believe we should do more to maximize human capacity and skills in order to reach our full potential. Our economy would improve too if it could absorb the number of unemployed graduates."
Above all, changing graduates lives for the better, giving hope to someone who is down and out is very inspiring. For Olga this is also very personal. "When I completed my degree I struggled to find employment, I did not have anyone to assist me and for this reason, The IIE Rosebank College graduates should consider themselves very fortunate to have an institution that cares about their success and is willing to go an extra mile to ensure that they are employable and employed after their studies," adds Tandokazi.
Olga is now employed through the help of the Rosebank College Graduate Empowerment Programme, which placed her in a law firm as an Office Administrator. On the side she continues to run a small dress making business in her spare time.
Rosebank College is an educational brand of
The Independent Institute of Education (Pty) Ltd which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997 (reg. no. 2007/HE07/002). Company registration number: 1987/004754/07.
Written by Karabo Keepile