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What is a learnership, who qualifies and what are the requirements, roles and responsibilities of the various parties?

What is a Learnership?

A learnership can be described as a training programme that consists of both theory and practical elements. It offers a way for you to gain work experience, as well as an NQF registered qualification. This relates directly to an occupation or field of work, such as engineering or project management.

All learnerships are managed by Sector Education Training Authorities (SETAs). They were introduced by the government to help prepare learners for the workplace. This is done by providing them with the necessary skills.

How Does it Work?

You need to complete a theoretical course, along with practical training, to graduate. The practical training is done at a workplace and involves hands-on, practical learning under the guidance of a mentor. The theory part is provided by a training provider. During the learnership, you will be formally assessed in the classroom and in the workplace.

Who qualifies for a learnership?

Learnerships are available for those who have completed school, college or learning at other training institutions, or for those who are studying part-time. Unemployed South Africans can participate in a learnership programme if there is an employer who is prepared to provide the required work experience.

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

How to find a Learnership

Plan a career path.
Identify the Learnership that supports the chosen career path. (The Learnership will share the name of the qualification so the educational institution can advise you.)
Find out as much information as possible about the Learnership from the educational institution, online and newspaper advertisements.
Look for Learnerships on the Career Planet website.
Enquire about the requirements for entering the Learnership.
Find an employer willing to provide practical work experience. The college or university offering the theoretical part of the training would be one source of this information. If you are at college already you must talk to the Programme Managers.

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