The South African Graduate Employers Association (SAGEA) is a not-for-profit professional association representing the hub of graduate employment in South Africa since its inception in 2004. With a mandate to promote graduate talent best practices, share trends on graduate employment and development and provide global insights and resources for their member organisations.

Newcomers to the industry, as well as the country’s top talent management specialists, benefit from belonging to SAGEA where they can personally interact with one another to share ideas and experiences. We provide our members with access to the latest graduate employment insights, trends, global best practice and resources to help them attract and retain the best talent for their businesses.

Today, SAGEA represents over 300 individuals across more than 175 organisations, ranging from corporate and state-owned enterprises employers to higher-education institutions to solution providers and professional organisations. SAGEA advocates the sharing of knowledge and human connection to advance graduate employment and elevate the careers of young talent.

SAGEA Insights

We run a number of significant graduate employment insights studies every year. Our Employer Benchmarking and Candidate Insights survey has become the go-to piece of research for understanding the graduate employment market in South Africa, providing our members with up-to-date trends on graduate vacancies, graduate salaries, candidate job-search behavior and a whole lot more.

Our recently-introduced biennial Graduate Development and Retention Study is quickly reaching the same status as our members’ roles continue to grow beyond attracting and recruiting the right talent for their businesses, towards playing an ever-larger role in managing, developing and retaining talent in the digital era.

The Annual SAGEA Employer Awards is the ultimate feather in the cap for graduate employers, recognizing and acknowledging those organisations who have excelled in delivering exceptional graduate employment experiences for their young talent.

In addition to our flagship graduate employment insights projects, we conduct a number of ad-hoc projects such as Bursary and Scholarship Funding and mini-surveys as needed by our members. We pride on ourselves on being a community, where our members can share their experiences and receive support for resolving their challenges.

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Meet our Board


Joanna Preston

Joanna Preston was elected as the Chairperson of our Board in 2023. Joanna completed an Honours degree in Industrial Psychology at UJ, and is a qualified Psychometrist registered with the HPCSA. She began her career as a management consultant in 2003 with Accenture South Africa, and after two years moved into the role of Graduate Recruiter. She joined FNB in 2006 to develop FNB’s Graduate Programme.

Joanna now heads up the Young Talent Practice at FNB as a whole.


Shalin Ledwaba

Shalin is the Head of Talent Acquisition at Bowman’s. She is a graduate from Henley Business School and an HR professional with over 14 years of experience in Talent Acquisition. Prior to joining Bowmans, Shalin held positions across a variety of industries, where she successfully led recruitment initiatives on both a national and international scale. She has a proven ability to develop and implement innovative recruitment strategies, leveraging technology, data-driven insights, and industry best practices to attract and retain high-performing individuals.


Lerato Mathibela

Lerato Mathibela CA(SA), a Thuthuka and UP alumni completed her chartered accountancy articles in the Nedbank CA Training Programme qualifying in 2017.

Lerato always had a keen interest in recruitment and career development and is extremely passionate about young talent.

During her client facing banking career, she gained invaluable well-rounded banking experience in various areas within Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking including Finance, Lending Middle Office and Debt Finance: Infrastructure, Public Sector and TMT where she signed permanent after qualifying as Chartered Accountant.


Serena Padayachee

Serena is a People and Culture Leader with insights in the field of Human Resource Development and Youth Engagement. She has years of experience from a multitude of organisations within the portfolio of Learning, Skills Development, Learning Technology, Organisational development Talent Strategy, Workplace Transformation (B-BBEE, Employment Equity and Diversity Equity & Inclusion), Change Management and Leadership models. Prior to her current role at bp Southern Africa, Serena managed her own consulting business specialising in youth development and engagement.


Travis Stephenson

Travis was born and bred on the sunny shores of Durban, and there’s nowhere else she would rather be. She lives in Morningside with her 9 year old son Harvey, who keeps her on her toes! Spending time with her family and friends is what keeps her cup full, as well as her love for wildlife and a good book. She has a BA degree in Communication Science & Business Management through Unisa and Leadership & Coaching certificates through GIBS Business School.

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