A Learnership is a vocational education and training programme to facilitate the linkage between structured learning and work experience in order to obtain a registered qualification. It combines theory and workplace practice into a qualification that is registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
Learnerships are directly related to an occupation or field of work, for example, truck/bus driver (National Certificate Professional Driving).
Learnerships require you to complete a theoretical course as well as practical training, which is done at a workplace, in order to graduate. The workplace component of the qualification involves hands-on, practical learning under the guidance of a mentor, while the theoretical component is provided by an education and training provider. Together they form an integrated and comprehensive learning programme.
SETAs oversee learnerships and ensure that they offer qualifications related to a specific occupation or sector of the economy. All 21 SETAs have developed NQF-aligned programmes that will help you gain recognised qualifications while getting on-the-job experience.
A Learnership usually constitutes 120+ credits or 1200+ "notional" hours of learning, which is equivalent to a one‐year full‐time college or university course.
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.
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.
Learnership programmes can help you to gain the necessary skills and workplace experience that will open up better employment or self-employment opportunities.
What are the benefits for learners?
- You may have better employment opportunities after completing a learnership;
- 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.
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 learner is fairly dismissed for a reason related to the learner’s conduct or capacity as an employee.