Learnerships can be funded or unfunded, we will be discussing the funded learnerships in this article.

Learnerships are available for young people who have completed school, college or learning at other training institutions.  You must be older than 16 and younger than 35 to be eligible for a learnership.  Unemployed South Africans can only participate in a learnership if there is an employer prepared to provide the required work experience.

By now you have already put some thought into your career path, and as a result you will be able to identify a learnership that will support your career goals.  Your career path should be influenced by your interests, skills and strengths.  The responsibility rests with you to investigate and research the different learnership options. You should find out as much as you can, including information on the criteria and requirements for entering a learnership.

Different learnerships have different entry requirements.  We recommend that you contact the provider of the learnership for full details on the specific requirements for the learnership of your choice.  For many learnerships, the minimum entry requirement is a National Senior Certificate or National Certificate: Vocational, but there may be more specific subject requirements or even skills requirements such as computer literacy.

There are many benefits for learners who manage to obtain a learnership within a related industry:

  • You may have better employment opportunities after completing a learnership;
  • You gain experience whilst studying;
  • You have a fixed-term employment contract for the duration of the learnership;
  • Learnerships improve on the job performance so you are able to do things relevant to the job;
  • You obtain a nationally-recognised qualification that is relevant to the sector; and
  • You earn a learner allowance for the duration of the learnership.

How much does a learnership cost?

Learnerships are generally funded by a relevant SETA. Since the cost of learnerships varies across SETAs and types/levels of qualifications, you should contact the relevant SETA for more information.

 Will the learner be paid?

There is a specified minimum learner allowance that must be paid to unemployed learners in a learnership. This is not a salary but covers expenses like travel and meals. Again, you should contact the relevant SETA for more information.

Note: The amount paid as a learner allowance depends on the SETA, type of learnership and the level of qualification.  The allowances and conditions are agreed to with each learner before the commencement of the learnership.

How long does it take to complete a learnership?

Learnerships will last as long as it takes to complete the qualification. This means that if the duration of the qualification is two years, then the learnership will last for that period of time.

What does a learner receive on completion?

During the learnership, learners will be required to complete assignments, tasks and practical tests and projects. They will be formally assessed in the classroom and workplace.

If all these assignments are completed successfully, they will be awarded an NQF-registered qualification, that is recognised nationally. They will receive a certificate stating the qualification and the area of skill development.

What is required to enter into a learnership?

If you are accepted, you will need to sign two legal documents:

  • Learnership Agreement: this is an agreement signed by you, the organisation employing you, and the education and provider offering the theoretical training component of the learnership. This agreement clearly outlines the rights and responsibilities of all three parties.
  • Employment contract: You will sign this contract with the employer, which is only valid for the period of the learnership.

 Will I get a job after completing the learnership?

Employment is not guaranteed, but once you have successfully completed your learnership, you will be in a much better position to market yourself as you will now have both work experience and theoretical training. You may also be in a better position to start your own business and generate an income that way.

Can a learnership be terminated?

Yes, a learnership can be terminated under certain circumstances.  An employer can terminate the contract of a learnership if:

  • The duration specified in the learnership agreement has expired
  • The employer and learner have agreed in writing to terminate the learnership agreement, or if there is no such agreement, the SETA that registered the agreement approves the termination; or
  • The employer dismissed the learner in a fair manner for a reason relating to the learner’s conduct or capacity as an employee.

For more information, contact the SETA that manages the learnerships in the field in which you are interested.

 

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