Despite thousands of South Africans struggling to find employment because they never finished school, few are aware of the option of completing a Technical Matric, which allows them to access a myriad of careers where employers are desperately seeking skilled staff.
“If your lack of a Matric Certificate is holding you back, it is important to know that it is never too late to get your qualification, and also that there are more options open to you than a regular matric,” says Zabo Mhleli, senior Student Advisor at Oxbridge Academy, which serves more than 20 000 South African distance learning students every year.
He says the Technical Matric qualification is a great option for those who never completed their Matric Certificate, but who are neither in a position nor inclined to return to school.
“This qualification focuses on technical subjects as well as business languages, and also provides more hands-on experience than the National Senior Certificate curriculum. Once passed, the Technical Matric qualification allows students to continue with any N4 qualification because it is considered equivalent to a regular Matric,” he says.
The Technical Matric is a Department of Higher Education qualification, and students are required to complete four technical and two business language subjects in order to graduate. An added bonus is the fact that it can be studied via distance learning, Mhleli notes.
He says while the Technical Matric Certificate won’t grant a student access to university, it does provide access to a range of solid opportunities, including furthering one’s studies at N4-level and providing a qualification that one can rely on when applying for apprenticeships and entry-level technical positions.
“This qualification is a particularly good option for those with good numerical skills who also enjoy working with their hands. It is equally appropriate for people who have a passion for designing, conducting experiments or doing other types of practical projects.
“We also have many students who signed up because they already work in a technical field, but now need a Matric to qualify for promotion,” he says.
Mhleli says the local job market is tough, and not having a Matric makes it substantially more difficult to find work and build a career.
However there continues to be a huge demand for qualified vocational professionals, with employers desperate for workers with technical knowledge and experience.
“We want to urge those who have given up hope to investigate their options particularly on the technical front, and to not resign themselves to never living up to their potential. A Technical Matric can be completed on a part-time basis from home, which also means saving on transport, accommodation and all the related costs associated with furthering one’s studies. There are thousands of technical positions waiting to be filled, and a Technical Matric is an excellent way to gain the qualification you’ll need to be able to supply in this demand.”