The lived experiences of unemployed graduate youth: an empirical study in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
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The main focus of the study was to interrogate the lived experiences of unemployed graduate youth in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The objectives of the study were to examine the socio-economic factors affecting unemployed graduates, to assess the psychological challenges that affect unemployed graduates, and to explore measures that might assist unemployed graduates. The study adopted a cross-sectional qualitative research approach in which a combination of exploratory and descriptive research designs were used. A total of 20 unemployed graduate youth from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Zimbabwe, Midlands state university, Lupane State University, Solusi University and the National University of Science and Technology were sampled. In-depth interviews were used to gather data and graduates were drawn using purposive and snowball sampling methods. The findings of the study revealed that unemployment had a negative socio-economic effect on graduate youth. Unemployment had an effect on the family stability, intimate partner relationships, underemployment, crime, and migration. Based on the findings of the study it can be concluded that there is a strong relationship between graduate youth unemployment and mental health. Services and programmes to assist unemployed graduate youth were suggested. The dissertation recommends that the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education in Zimbabwe must consider establishing a records database of all graduates in Zimbabwe. The Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment in Zimbabwe should offer grants and loans to graduates who want to start cash generating businesses. Future research should be conducted assessing the failing youth policies and programmes in Zimbabwe. It is recommended that a research be done on exploration of self-employment as an employment creation strategy for graduates in Zimbabwe.