Everything you need to know about learnerships in South Africa

By Nichelle Wilson

Everything you need to know about learnerships in South Africa

Learnerships in South Africa are one of the best ways to promote skills development. They are enormously beneficial to individuals and companies, bridging the gap between education and work opportunities. They were created primarily for disadvantaged individuals who do not have access to tertiary education but are no less deserving of economic opportunities.

What is a learnership?

A learnership is a work-based learning programme that leads to an NQF qualification. It is directly related to a specific field or occupation, for example, electrical engineering. Any occupation you can imagine can offer learnerships – it’s just a matter of finding an opportunity in the field you’re interested in.

Who is involved in a learnership?

There are three entities involved in a learnership – the learner, the employer, and the skills training provider (like Skills College). Before a learnership begins, a contract is drawn up specifying all the details and obligations of all three parties. This includes elements like how long the learnership will last, what the outcome will be for the learner and employer, and what kind of training will be provided.

What are the benefits of learnerships?

For individuals, it’s a way to get quality training, practical experience, and to work towards an NQF qualification, all at the same time. While a learnership doesn’t guarantee a job, it sets the individual up for professional success, giving them a much better chance of finding a job.
For companies, it’s a way to efficiently spend their skills development budget, drive growth in their business, earn B-BBEE points, and change the course of an individual’s life.

What does a learnership entail?

There are two aspects to a learnership – practical training and theoretical learning. In order to qualify, a learner must pass both of these. The practical training happens on-site at the workplace, while the theory training is provided by the training provider. A learner will be required to complete assessments, assignments, and tests.

Do learnerships pay a salary?

A learner won’t earn a salary while in a learnership but they will receive a stipend that will cover basic expenses like transport to the workplace and meals.

Who qualifies for a learnership?

Learnerships are for young people who have just completed some form of education or who have been unemployed for a while.
How do you apply for a learnership at Skills College?

Businesses will get in touch with us to assist in coordinating a learnership. Once we have a learnership opportunity, we accept applications from individuals who are eligible. The best way to find out about our learnership opportunities is to keep an eye on our social media pages or to visit our walk-in campus at 7 Phillips Street, Rosslyn.