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.


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Empowering the youth through on-the-job learning and development is one way of moving South Africa’s young folk to the centre of the country’s economic ecosystem.

With South Africa’s unemployment rate at an all-time high, Learnerships are necessary to help build a competent workforce as well as the key to boosting an organisation’s B-BBEE levels in the process.

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.

Does your business want to support the implementation of learnerships in the country? Find out how you can contribute towards up-skilling the local labour market.

Learnerships have many positives and not just for the learner who will seek a job upon graduation. These opportunities create jobs amongst other things. The following article touches upon the benefits in granting learnerships and the relationships it creates.

Enrolling individuals in learnerships when they are already competent in most of the
outcomes of the qualification is a waste of time and resources; however there is room
for some RPL during learnerships. Suzanne Hattingh provides some guidelines on when
it is appropriate to do RPL in learnerships.

Traditional apprenticeships and modern learnerships have both been flagged as important - connecting routes towards developing skills for South Africa’s growing economy. Education Minister Naledi Pandor highlighted the importance of both these methods of skills development for the country.

Learnerships have been promoted as the primary tool to address the country’s skills shortage and to assist young people acquire skills that will secure them employment. But with the Minister of Labour highlighting incidences of abuse of learners, how do we maintain trust in this new form of training and ensure high standards of learning?

Grants from Setas and tax incentives are available to companies to encourage them to take on learners on learnerships.

The assessment system used for a learnership should serve to promote quality training and give awards for achieved competencies.

Learnerships are defined by a number of key principles.

Setas approve learnerships but before that a number of development stages have to be completed when learnerships are developed.

A learnership is a vocational education and training programme to facilitate the linkage between structured learning and work experience in order to obtain a registered qualification.




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