Specialists from different walks of life shared their expertise on the possible options available to those without a matric certificate during a discussion on the social networking site known as the Skills-Universe.
While many shared the same point of view, "get a matric certificate as soon as possible!? There were some surprising answers and loads of practical advice.
It is widely understood that a matric certificate is still the most basic and essential document needed to move forward in your career and attempting to progress in the workplace without one will only impede your growth exponentially. It is important for those in this unfortunate position to know the extent of this barrier.
"I must agree, in Recruitment we are often given a spec for a client and minimum is Matric, in this case they don't even want cv's from anyone without a matric? says Training Provider, Tracey Wagenaar.
Whether you have no work experience or posses 20 years experience within the relevant industry in which you are applying for work, it seems that doing so without a matric certificate will only lead to disappointment and frustration.
"I am currently the Customer Service and Logistics Manager for a training company. Currently I am studying HR. I have completed SDF and Implementing and Developing Policies courses. When approaching companies for new positions etc I still get doors closed because I do not have my Matric' claims one member.
What can I do without matric?
But all hope is not lost. There are some alternatives available to those who are willing to work-hard and sacrifice to change their circumstances.
More than one expert recommended assessment institutions such as the IEB (Independent Examinations Board) and RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) as an alternative source for measuring competence. These centre's offer numeracy and literacy assessments and provide recognition for skills and knowledge that have been acquired in different ways.
According to the Deputy CEO of a public FET college, Catherine Anne Robertson, there are only two options, "either do a Level 4 qualification (learnership in Business Admin, for example, which may be difficult as you can't just apply to do it but need a provider to call for recruits) or wait until next year to do Umalusi's NASCA (National Senior Certificate for Adults), a qualification at Level 4 (120 credits) equivalent to a matric'.
"Leave the Matric. Start a suitable degree programme through Mancosa' was another opinion. Mancosa (Management College of South Africa) is a distance-learning educational facility which offers a range of management programmes that teaches participants how to asses, analyse, and deal with complex business situations.
However, the certified or accredited route is not the only path open to non-matriculants. Those who are more inclined to getting their hands dirty should consider this practical advice. "If you can't find a job, seriously consider a quality opportunity, do a due diligence, and make sure you understand exactly what it takes to achieve the success you want.' advises Shaun Lindberg, the founder of My Wealth Campaign.
Hard-work will not go unnoticed indefinitely and if you find a position that pays a little but offers enormous growth opportunity, why not start there? Perhaps recognition within the workplace, from your direct employer, will be more beneficial and more rewarding than the recognition received from an external entity.
With so many options it may be hard to choose the best route for you. But there has been one resounding message in all the recommendations and suggestions provided by the professionals. Start today. Once you take the first step to changing your situation, doors will begin to open.
Once you have made that first move it is crucial to follow the wise words of Des Squire, owner of AMSI and Associates. ".they should then be up front with potential employers and make them aware of what they are doing and have done to rectify the shortfall in their education. They must sell themselves and sell the fact they have taken ownership of their future. This will demonstrate use of initiative and the desire to better the current situation and should impress potential employers.'
Whichever path you choose, remember that it will take time and determination to reach your goals. For now, take comfort in the fact that there are many South Africans reaching for the same dream.
By Cindy Payle - Portal Publishing