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How to implement a learnership A guide for training providers
on: March 31, 2015, 05:39

How to implement a learnership A guide for training providers.

Government has introduced a training programme called learnerships. Training providers play a crucial role in the implementation of learnerships. This brochure explains the role of training providers in this process.

What is a learnership?
A learnership is a training course that combines theoretical training at a college or training centre with relevant work experience. A learnership must lead to a recognised national qualification. The minimum number of credits that a learner must obtain is therefore 120 credits. The learner must receive a certificate at the end of the learnership, confirming the credits obtained during the learnership.
Learnerships are based on a legally binding agreement between you, the training provider, an employer and a learner. This contract aims to ensure that the training provided is of an adequate quality.

What are the main benefits of a learnership?
There are a number of benefits of a learnership for the employer, the learner and you, the training provider.

Benefits to the training provider

    *SETAs have in place funding mechanisms to fund learnerships. An employer is able to reclaim the cost of the learners’ fees from their SETA, thus providing a source of funding for training providers that offer training for learnerships
    *There is potential for training providers to expand their businesses through the implementation of learnership training
    * Training providers are able to ensure that learners receive practical, hands-on experience in applying the theory that has been covered, which will mean an improvement in the quality of the training provided
    *Training providers will know that their training leads to nationally recognised qualifications, that is relevant to the needs of commerce and industry
    * Training providers will be required to actively network with employers in their sector, thus increasing the potential for long-term partnerships between themselves and business
    * The Department of Labour will assist training providers in the recruitment and selection of learners to be placed into learnerships.

Benefits to the employer
Through the learnership process, the employer is able to increase the level of
skills of his/her employees. More skilled employees:

    *Are more likely to do the correct thing the first time and make fewer
    * Are more likely to ‘get the best’ out of machines
    * Tend to be more independent workers
    * Are more motivated because they know why what they are doing is important to the overall business and they might be less likely to leave their jobs.

There are also significant financial incentives for employers offering learnerships. These take the form of:

Cash Grants
A cash grant reflecting the basic cost that will be incurred for the learnership will be provided to an employer by their SETA. The employer must contact their SETA first to determine if they are eligible for a learnership grant. The learnership grants are discretionary, and a SETA will only pay these to an employer if they have adequate funds available

Tax Incentives
An employer also qualifies for tax incentives if the learnership agreement is registered formally with their SETA. Employers are eligible for two tax incentives, one at the beginning of the learnership and one at the successful completion of the learnership. Employers should consult the SARS website http://www.sars.gov.za or their SETAs for further information on the tax incentives available.

Benefits to the learner
* Through a learnership, the learner achieves a nationally recognised qualification
* The learner gains work experience, thus improving his/her chances of finding employment after the learnership is completed
* The work experience gained during the learnership could assist the learner to be more successful in establishing his/her own business
* The learner has active links within the employment network, thus increasing his/her likelihood of finding employment.

How can I implement a learnership?
The following steps have to be taken before the implementation of a learnership:

Choose a learnership
As a training provider you have to determine which learnerships you can provide training for. A list of available learnerships can be accessed from the Department of Labour’s website at http://www.labour.gov.za

Ensure you are accredited
As a training provider, you need to ensure that you are accredited with a SETA in order to provide training for a learnership. Non-accredited training providers cannot implement learnerships. A prerequisite for accreditation as a training provider will be that you have developed a curriculum for the learnership(s) according to standards as prescribed in the South African Qualifications Authority Act, 1995 and that you follow sound education and training and development practices. You also need to register as an Education and Training Development Practitioner

Identify employers
Once you have determined which learnerships you are able to provide training for, you need to ensure that you have identified suitable employers that are able to provide relevant workplace learning

Agree on the recruitment and selection of learners
Once you have identified potential employers, you need to reach agreement with them on the number of learners they will employ, the selection criteria for learners, and the recruitment and selection of learners

Recruit and select learners
Learners can be people that are already employed by their employers (18.1 learners), or they can be unemployed people (18.2 learners). The Department of Labour is able to assist with the recruitment and selection of unemployed learners. Please ask your nearest labour centre for the brochure on recruitment and selection services offered by Department of Labour

Sign a learnership agreement
Before starting the learnership, you need to ensure that a learnership agreement is signed by the employer, the learner and your organisation.
The learnership agreement is a legal contract that binds an employer, a learner and a training provider into a relationship for the duration of the learnership. It specifies:

    *What learning outcomes must be achieved
    *Employer’s responsibilities and rights
    * Learner’s responsibilities and rights
    * Rights and responsibilities as a training provider.

The training provider has the right of:

    * Access to the learners’ books and learning material and the
    workplace, if required.

The training provider is responsible for:

    * Giving the training set out in the learnership
    * Supporting the learner
    * Keeping records of training provided
    * Assessing learner competence as outlined in the learnership
    * Reporting to the employer.

The employer must also sign an employment contract with the learner for the duration of the learnership, which must comply with the ministerial determination on learnerships, unless the learner was already employed by the employer before the learnership, in which case the existing employment contract will still apply.

Registration of learnership agreement.
The training provider must make sure that the learnership agreement has been registered by a relevant SETA before commencing with training.

Start the training for the learnership
Training must commence on the date agreed upon between the employer, learner and training provider, as outlined in the learnership agreement.

How do I obtain more information?
If your are interested in implementing a learnership, you can obtain more information from the SETAs.


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