There is a glimmer of hope for unemployed graduates, thanks to the newly formed Unemployed Graduates and Tertiary Drop-outs Forum which hopes to create a platform for graduates to share their knowledge and skills, and encourage them to start their own businesses.
On Saturday December 2, the forum held a gathering at Harare library to discuss issues facing unemployed graduates and drop- outs.
Forum secretary, Zandile Kunjwa, said the organisation was born out of the graduates’ frustrations and struggle to get jobs.
Mr Kunjwa, who has a BSc Environmental and Water Sciences degree, and postgraduate degree in education, said the forum was also designed to give graduates a voice.
He said they wanted graduates to be employed for what they had studied for, and to be paid accordingly and called on government to provide funding and additional skills to graduates with solid business ideas.
Mr Kunjwa said drop-outs should be put through a “rehabilitation” programme and eventually be allowed to complete their studies. “We want this platform to boost the confidence of the graduates and motivate them. We want to create a space were there could be a flow of ideas. We need to come together and brainstorm so that we could address issues.
“We also want to make higher learning institutions accessible to everyone. We need to give education its dignity. We can’t allow graduates to feel sorry for themselves,” he said.
Mr Kunjwa said a lack of experience had been a major challenge for most graduates, in their search for work, and pointed out that the forum had already approached various government departments and private companies for partnerships.
Life coach and facilitator, Sonwabile Dwangu, said the establishment of the forum took them one step closer towards alleviating unemployment among graduates.
Founding member of the forum, Vuyo Ngquba, said they wanted graduates to be at the heart of employment creation. The 36-year-old former assistant lecturer at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) said through the forum they wanted to bring dignity to education. The forum is to be officially launched next year. For more information, you can contact Kunjwa at 076 750 2504