Graduates confident about SA

28 April 2011 - 13:36 By Sapa

The majority of graduate professionals are confident about staying in South Africa, according to a survey released on Thursday.

"Graduate professionals occupy key occupations such as accountancy, engineering, medicine and law, many of which have a skills shortage, so it is very significant to see these people are confident of remaining in South Africa," said Gerhard Joubert, head of group marketing at financial services provider PPS, in a statement.

The PPS survey tracked the confidence levels of over 4000 South African graduate professionals on issues such as emigration, crime, healthcare, investment markets and opportunities available to them in their chosen professions.

According to the 2011 first quarter results, a confidence level of 84 percent was recorded for remaining in South Africa.

Joubert said this could be attributed to various things including South Africa's economy weathering the global financial crisis, its inclusion in the BRIC -- Brazil, Russia, India, China -- economic group of nations, the relatively stable political climate, opportunities available to graduate professionals due to skills shortages and the successful hosting of the World Cup.

"The current turmoil that is also taking place in a number of European countries in light of the sovereign debt crises may also have shown some South Africans that were considering a move that the grass is not always greener," he said.

Respondents, who had an average age of 43, showed an overall confidence level of 77 percent, when asked about the opportunities available to practitioners working in their profession over the next 12 months.

However, they were concerned about crime -- with a 45 percent confidence level that the situation would improve over the next five years.

Unemployment was also a concern, with confidence levels at 46 percent.

Confidence in the future of the healthcare system and the standard of education over the next five years each scored a confidence level of 50 percent.