The Lowdown on Learnerships

A learnership is a structured learning programme that consists of a theoretical and practical component and that leads to a qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). A learnership provides a learner with an excellent opportunity to gain experience in the labour market while studying towards a qualification.
Learnerships are regulated by a formal contract (learnership agreement) between an employer, a learner and a training provider. This agreement must be registered with the employer’s relevant SETA. (refer pg14 for list of SETA’s) An employer can enter into learnership agreements with existing employees or with learners who are not employees. If the employer enters into a learnership agreement with a learner who is not an employee, the employer is not obliged to employ the learner when the learnership ends.

The benefits of a Learnership

  • The learner earns whilst he/she learns (like a l(earn)ership)
  • The programme is outcomes-based
  • The learner interacts with the working environment and receives valuable practical experience
  • Assessment occurs at various stages and is learner-centered i.e. it is based on the learner’s competence
  • The qualification is recognised nationally

How to join a learnership if you are unemployed

  • Unemployed people must register as work seekers at the Department of Labour
  • Look for employers in the sectors in which you wish to obtain a learnership i.e. nursing in public and private hospitals, social auxiliary work at the Department of Social Development or Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) or social work agencies
  • Prepare a concise CV and make sure that your subjects are correct for the learnership that you are interested in
  • Find employers that offer learnerships
  • Make contact with potential employers by sending a concise CV (address it to the HR Department for the attention of the
  • Skills Development Division)

Important information to note regarding Learnerships
The HWSETA does not select, recuit or engage learners directly. This is done through employers. Employers of nurses are mainly
hospitals both in the public and private sectors. In the public sector the learnerships are often co-ordinated through the Provincial Health Department. Pharmacies in public and private hospitals and retail pharmacies select select and recuit learners directly.
The Human Resources department of an organisation is best to contact as most large organisations have a Skills Development Facilitator who is responsible for skills development and co-ordinates applications to the relevant SETA for the Learnerships

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