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'Up to 500k matriculants could join dreaded unemployment pool'

Economists say SA's difficult economic climate will make it hard for school-leavers to find employment.

FILE: Over 800,000 pupils wrote grade 12 matric exams in 2015. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Some economists have warned matriculants who fail to get into higher education institutions may struggle to find jobs.

The country's difficult economic climate won't make it easy for school-leavers to find employment.

The national matric pass rate for 2015 will be revealed this evening.

Debt Rescue's Neil Roets says, "According to the figures that we are working with, it's about four in every 10 matriculants who are going to find themselves in a position to get a job, which is very worrying. That means that almost 500,000 matriculants will join the unemployed."

Stellenbosch University economics professor Servaas van der Berg says a matric certificate opens doors but it's not a guarantee for employment.

"Matriculants are in a better position to compete for the better jobs; they can more easily avoid some of the less attractive jobs. Even with a matric, it's not so easy to get a job, especially for younger people nowadays."

CLASS OF 2015 WROTE TOUGHEST EXAMS

Meanwhile, the Basic Education Department says the top matric achievers of 2015 have passed the toughest exams in years.

Top pupils from across the country were hosted by the Basic Education Minister at a breakfast in Midrand earlier today.

As anxious matrics wait for their results, the Basic Education Department says learners had to work extra hard this year to pass the 2015 exams.

Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga says, "The demand has increased, and it was no longer what it used to be. Now you need to do a little bit more to pass, work extra hard and spend more time on subjects that are giving you problems."

He says top achievers in the county must be acknowledged.

"It is important to bring those learners to the attention of the country."

Click here to visit EWN's matric portal to view the results when they're released.

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