Learnerships are developed by the industry for the industry, in consultation with all relevant stakeholders, so the learning programme and qualification of the Learners are relevant to the specific occupation.
The outcomes of the learning programme meet the standards for the industry. When partaking in these Learnerships, there is a greater credibility of qualifications, as employers have the assurance that the learners can demonstrate the competence reflected in their qualifications. Learnerships create an opportunity for companies to collaborate with training providers to customise learning programmes to meet specific workplace needs
Learnerships improved skills and work performance because it is a tool for multi-skilling, as it develops the competence of employees in every component of the work processes of an occupation. The learning route of a Learnership is more effective in promoting the practical application of learning in the workplace than most other routes. Because employees will be acquiring new knowledge and skills and applying these in the workplace, companies will be raising the skills levels of employees while improving work performance.
As training programmes that combine theory and relevant practical elements, Learnerships create skilled people who:
- tend to work more independently, need less supervision and possess enhanced problem solving capabilities;
- are motivated and strive to add value to the business;
- are less likely to leave a company that takes an interest and invests in their personal and professional development;
- entering into learning contracts with unemployed people, contributes to building up the skills pool, from which employers may recruit relevant skills as needed;
- have more skills. The more skills gained, the greater the productivity and the more meaningful the individual’s contribution to South Africa’s global competitiveness and to creating an environment conducive to investment.
Achievement of Employment Equity Objectives:
- Progress in meeting Employment Equity targets, since previously disadvantaged employees have opportunities to improve their work-related competence and obtain qualifications
- Your business can improve its competitiveness
Appropriately Trained Recruitment Pool of Potential Employees:
- Employers will be able to select employees from a wider pool of appropriately qualified workers who have developed skills that are relevant to the company’s specific work context.
Increased Return on Investment in Training:
- Higher returns from the Skills Levy and investment in training, due to transfer of learning to the job
- Increased grant disbursements from Skills Levy contributions. Many SETAs offer Learnership grants ranging from R 4 000 – R 40 000 per learner. However the grants are subject to availability and are offered on a first come, first serve basis on the condition that the Learnership address a scarce skills in the sector, so you will need to plan ahead and get your grant application in to the SETA as early as possible to stand a chance of getting the additional help.
- Tax Incentives: SARS offers companies attractive tax incentives for participating in Learnerships. In addition to claiming Learnership Discretionary grants from a SETA, an employer can also claim a tax incentive when an employer registers a Learnership agreement with a SETA.
- Tax Incentives are deductions on your taxable income that you can claim for each Learnership candidate that you have in your employment, once at the start of the Learnership, and once again at its completion.
- The details of the tax incentive are contained in Government gazette No. 23 709 that was published on the 5 August 2002. The entitlement derives from the Taxation Laws Amendment Act, No 30 of 2002. You can find a copy on the SARS website: www.sars.gov.za (First select Legislation, then Acts, then Act No 30 of 2002) or on website www.inseta.org.za (First select Learnerships, then Legislation Relative to Learnerships, then Amendment to the income Tax Act).
There are 2 levels:
- R 30 000 commencement and completion allowances for Learnerships and apprenticeships
- R 50 000 commencement and completion allowances for learners with disabilities
The principle is straightforward:
- For each year that a learner is registered for a Learnership linked to the employer’s trade, the employer claims an allowance of R 30 000 for that Learnership. This allowance is based on a 12 months periods, and full periods of a month, so if a Learnership starts half way through the employer’s year of assessment, half of the allowance is claimed by the employer in the first year and half in the second.
- If the learner leaves during the year, there is no recoupment. The R 30 000 is merely apportioned for the part of the year, so that if the learner leaves after 4 months, the employer only claims 4/12 of the allowance, i.e. R 10 000. These must be full months, so if the learner leaves after 3 and a half months, the allowance must be claimed for 3 months, i.e. 3/12 X R 30 000 = R 7 500.
- Similarly, if a Learnership spans 3 and half months in the first year of assessment and 8 and a half months in the second year of assessment of a single employer, the employer claims commencement allowance of R 7500 in the first year and R 20 000 in the second year.
- When a Learnership is successfully completed, the employer claims an allowance of R 30 000 for each completed 12 months of the Learnership. So if it was a 2-year Learnership, the employer claims an allowance of R 60 000. If the Learnership was for 30 months, the employer’s allowance in the year of completion is also R 60 000, because two full periods of 12 months has been completed. No completion allowance is claimable until the Learnership is successfully completed.
- If the learner goes to another employer while he is still doing his Learnership and the Learnership is carried on, linked to that employer’s trade, the new employer claims the Learnership for the rest of the year, i.e. 8/12 X R 30 000 = R 20 000. The new employer will also claim the full completion allowance, even if the learner was not employed by that employer in the earlier years or months of the Learnership.
- If a learner fails his or her Learnership and registers for a new Learnership, section 12H will not apply to the new Learnership if it contains the same education and training component of the Learnership that the person failed.
- These in addition to Learnership discretionary grants, is a substantial amount that is made available to subsidise the training of a learner on a Learnership.
Both parties, the learner and employer, benefit from these programmes and are well organised and beneficial to all involved. Hopefully this article answered all your questions. The Mindspa Institute can assist in Learnership programmes.
Contact [email protected] or [email protected] for an appointment to discuss this matter further. It is a positive programme that enhances the education and potential of our youth entering the workforce.
The Learnership programme was developed in South Africa as a modern way to advance apprenticeships to meet the modern demands of the workplace. Learnerships also manage to formalise the learning and workplace experience - which is usually sadly lacking in internships offered by companies.
Another significant benefit of Learnerships over internships is that Learnerships come with a formal pay structure where learners will be paid a monthly stipend, or payment, for the time they are on the Learnership. Also, internships do not have a learning component, while Learnerships are all linked directly to a formal qualification.