Empowering youth through learnerships

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Skills development in South Africa is an ever evolving environment. At times very frustrating, but so rewarding!

Just look back at how far skills development has come over the last few years… We now have learnerships and skills programs - all aiding learners to work towards a qualification, while working and supporting their families.

Skills programs are clusters of unit standards that run over a shorter period than Learnerships. Combined skills programs could then lead into a qualification.

Learnerships require you to combine theoretical learning with practical training and usually runs over a period of a year. It focuses on youth development and is available to people between 16 and 35.

Some employers and SETAs run learnerships that are available to unemployed South Africans. Projects like this have a huge social impact. These unemployed men and women not only get a chance to obtain a qualification and work place experience, but also give them an opportunity to build a better future for themselves and their children. For many South Africans this is the only way to obtain a qualification.

It also contributes greatly to the skills pool from which employers recruit. When individuals gain skills, it increases their productivity and adds more value to the contribution they make in the South African market.

For companies, learnerships are worth all the admin and mentoring time! The list of benefits to employers includes:
Cash grants from SETAs for learnerships – available at the discretion of SETA on a first come, first serve condition
Tax incentives as much as R80 000 per learner per year
Extra points on the BEE scorecard for learnership training
Productivity is less impacted than with traditional training, due to the large portion of on the job training
Employees feel valued and motivated when a company takes interest in their personal and professional development, thus reducing staff turnover

All this sounds amazing right? But how do you get started??

There are three parties involved in the learnership process – the learner, the employer and the service provider. These parties will all enter in a learnership contract. This fixed term contract will outline the rights and responsibilities of each party.

Every learnership has different entry requirements. When selecting a learner, make sure that he or she meets those requirements and that the learnership is actually something the learner is interested in doing.

As the employer you will be responsible for providing workplace experience, training and providing guidance and mentoring. The employer will also have a fixed term employment contract with the learner in the event of offering the learnership to unemployed learners.

The training provider is responsible for the theoretical or classroom training. Always make sure your training provider has all the right accreditations in place.

Enable your employees to be the best they can be by giving them an opportunity to get a qualification and watch your company reach new heights.

Need more information or ready to start a learnership programme? Email us at Staff Training today on info@stafftraining.co.za or phone us at 0861 996 660. Staff Training is a Services SETA accredited service provider.

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