|Passed Grade 12||No University Entrance||University Entrance|
Learnerships are created with the job market in mind. In other words, if there are any skills shortages within the economy, learnerships can be created to train this skill. Learnerships must therefore address skills shortages and contribute towards creating jobs and resolving the unemployment crisis.
Three key features make up any learnership.
- Structured learning which is theoretical and usually takes place within a classroom environment.
- Practical work experience of a speci?c type and duration within a workplace or simulated work environment.
- Lead to NQF qualification related to an occupation (See below)
Any person – either employed or unemployed - can participate in a learnership. If employed, you can register for a learnership through your company or within the sector that your company operates in. If you are unemployed, you may register for placement at a local labour centre or through employers in your area. The Department of Labour Labour Centres are responsible for registering the unemployed and placing them in learnerships if they meet the minimum requirements. Learners do not have to pay for the learnership and the unemployed are given an allowance / stipend principally to cover the costs of the transport and food to the venue.
There are a number of different advantages for those participating in learnerships:
- They provide a way for learners to get a qualification while working full time;
- Work experience forms an integral part of the learnership. The unemployed and school leavers can benefit from the work experience and use this opportunity to network for jobs within the sector.
- These are not time based and if a learner is able to gain a credit within a shorter period of time, they can get the certificates to show that they are competent.
Accredited training providers must provide the training on a learnership for it to be recognised by employers. As it is a structured programme, the workplace component will need to be inspected to see whether the employer can provide the necessary workplace support.
Learnerships normally take up to a year to complete. The learner is assessed throughout by a qualified assessor and the SETA moderates this intervention. If the learner is found to be competent, a National Qualification will be awarded to the learner.
Skills programmes are shorter learning programmes that are a stepping stone to a full qualification. They are job-focused training interventions and are often introduced in response to a skills need in a particular industry where an urgent job is required but the employees do not have the skills to do this. Skills programmes are important as they are the building blocks towards a full qualification – all the credits gained make up the building blocks towards a full qualification.
Skills programmes have a practical component and therefore provide learners with the experience they need to increase their employability, self employment and mobility in the workplace.
To get a skills programme up and running, a company / training provider must identify the need, the unit standards that will be trained and should apply to the SETA for recognition of the programme.
An apprenticeship is a technical training system that includes practical and theoretical training. Apprenticeships are offered in particular trades such as jewellery making and after passing a trade test the learner / employee is recognised as an artisan.
Apprenticeships are different from learnerships in that they are job and not career orientated, and relate to a specific trade. This means that if you participate in an apprenticeship, you will learn a trade to ?ll a particular job post. Any person over the age of 16 may apply but good marks in maths and science increases the chances of learners being selected to participate.
Any employer offering apprenticeship training must be workplace approved. The learner will then be indentured in a designated trade in terms of the Manpower Training Act. They can also study and get a N2 certificate with a relevant FET college. The employer will pay for this and when they are successful and have passed the trade test they will be awarded the National Trade Certi?cate and will be recognised as a quali?ed artisan.
An internship is a temporary position created within a company to provide learners with supervised on-the-job training. Internships are usually for students and university graduates who are seeking some kind of work experience at an entry level. An intern can be paid and / or partly paid by the company but there are currently no rules or regulations surrounding this.
W&RSETA has established a bursary scheme for needy students studying retail related qualifications in any of the public universities, universities of technology and Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges in South Africa. The ultimate objective is to address skills shortages in the Sector. Some of the scarce skills identified in the Sector include but are not limited to Accounting, Credit Management, Logistics, Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, Food Technology, Purchasing Management, Information Technology, Industrial Relations and Marketing, to mention a few. This bursary scheme will build a talent pipeline of scarce skills that are much needed by the Sector.
Bursary Success Story
Bhekiwe believes that her story will inspire young people to create a fulfilling career in retail. After matric she went to the Durban University of Technology with only registration money and a dream to study Retail Business Management. In 2012, she was awarded a W&RSETA bursary until she obtained her National Diploma cum laude. Bhekiwe also completed a BTech in 2016. Due to her passion for education, she is currently studying towards a Master’s Degree in Retail Management.
Bhekiwe is with one of the major retailers as a Foods Department Manager. “Our industry has a lot to offer and it is up to us to grab every opportunity to our advantage. Gone are the days when people believed that retail is not for highly educated individuals” - Bhekiwe