Skills development, specifically learnerships will soon become a buzzword in the
workplace if the proposed B-BBEE codes are implemented. Companies who have
ignored the practice of learnerships will have to face this issue squarely if they hope
to maintain their BEE rating in future.

The recent graduation of 102 new FAIS-compliant learners as part of the pilot InSeta
SMME learnership demonstrates the effectiveness of learnerships to boost skills and
create employment in the sector.

There is an increasingly large number of people both employed and unemployed who are frantically searching for IT learnership. Employers have the opportunity of benefiting from creating learnerships in the IT sector.

Learnership programmes support the goals of all skills development legislation and are critical to transformation. HR consultant Tasniem Cassiem looks at the benefit of skills development to businesses and how companies can take advantage of government backed skills programmes.

More skilled professionals will enter the insurance sector when the new learnership programme endorsed by Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (INSETA) comes into effect. The programme will use the SMME platform to train school-leavers in the trade.

In an effort to boost employment government provides learnership programmes in various sectors. By offering support to Seta's through these initiatives government hopes to alleviate the high number of job seekers who are battling to secure employment.

SME accounting practitioners are playing an important role in terms of developing a pipeline of accounting talent in SA. Benson and Son Managing Director, Nic Benson, believes learners are exposed to a far broader spectrum of business in a small practice than they are in a big practice or corporate.

A gap exists between current education, training provision and the needs of the labour market, according to training providers, Kelly. More trainers need to be actively involved in the enhancement of skills, particularly in the Contact Centre industry through the facilitation of learnerships.

Finally putting to rest speculation that learnerships have not been effective in dealing with unemployment, the Minister of Labour has announced figures showing a 71% placement rate for learners who have completed learnerships and other skills development interventions. He also declared apprenticeships, "alive and well and kicking and legal!"

Learnerships require a lot of work, from the learners and from the employers, and the temptation is always there to throw in the towel. Selby Mthunywa experienced difficulties with his studies but he just worked harder and is now succeeding.


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