Falsifying Matric results to land the perfect job is fraud
On the 5th of January 2016, Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga announced the matric pass rate of 70.7%. This means that out of the 799 306 full- and part-time candidates that sat for their examinations, only 565 109 passed. This reflects a 5.1% drop in the average pass rate from 75.8% in 2014.
Ina van der Merwe, CEO of South African background screening market leader, Managed Integrity Evaluation (MIE) notes that many of these matriculates will be competing for jobs along with recently graduated students and the country’s 5.4 million unemployed (according to Statistics South Africa’s latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey).
“The temptation to lie about your qualifications or results on your CV may be heightened. It is, however, quickly becoming standard practice for businesses to screen prospective employees during the hiring process which often includes verifying South African Matric and Senior Certificate qualifications.”
She continues, “If the company does conduct a background check and finds that your qualification is inaccurate or fraudulent, you will be discovered and may be found guilty of fraud. As a result, you may be investigated, charged and get a criminal record or face jail time for fraud.”
MIE works with the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) to combat fraud by populating their database of individuals who have committed a relevant offence - primarily those who have committed qualification fraud.
This information is shared with member organisations and - in turn - offers South African businesses a means of protecting themselves from possibly having to incur costs and risks. In 2014 and 2015 (January - August), MIE has listed 3389 people to the database.
Van der Merwe advises that matriculates and graduates bear in mind that background screening cannot be done without a job applicant’s consent. While the vetting process may be unfamiliar to those entering the workforce for the first time, refusing one may arouse suspicion. It is best to rather be honest about your results and qualifications. If you have nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear,” she says.
To help job seekers improve their chances of finding employment, despite perhaps having failed or not achieved their desired results, van der Merwe shares the following tips:
- Apply for suitable positions: Remember that not every job requires that you have a matric certificate, so make sure that you respond to vacancies that advertise this.
- Get experience: Many employers appreciate practical experience as valuable skills can be learnt in this way. Volunteering your time is one of the easiest ways of gaining experience.
- Obtain references: Be sure to include the names and contact details of teachers and employers who can provide personal character references.
- Be honest: Ensure that you are honest in your CV as well as in your interviews.
“Applying for your first job can be daunting and you may want to make your CV stand out from the rest. Remember that lying about your qualifications is not the answer and can seriously harm your chances of finding a job in future, more so than not having a matric certificate,” concludes Van der Merwe.
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