What is a learnership?
A Learnership is a work-based approach to learning and gaining a qualification. It includes structured work experience (practical) and structured institutional learning (theory).
Criteria, as set out in the Skills Development Act, indicate that a learnership must:
- include a structured learning component;
- include practical work experience;
- lead to a qualification and;
- relate to an occupation.
Why learnerships were established
The Skills Development Act, as amended, and the Skills Development Levies Act are designed to implement structures and processes that will transform skills development in South Africa. Historically, education and training provision did not always link the theory to the practice required in an occupation.
Learnerships are intended to address the gap between education and training provision and the needs of the labour market.
Learnerships seek to address the following labour market issues:
- the decline in levels of employment in South Africa;
- the unequal distribution of income;
- unequal access to education and training, and employment opportunities;
- the effects of race, gender and geographical location on advancement and;
- skills shortages.
The importance of learnerships
Learnerships in Fasset’s sector:
- provide a programme which is outcomes-based;
- allow the learner access to a working environment (practical) that is pertinent to the theory;
- allow the learner to experience and understand the workplace dynamics;
- allow assessment to occur at various stages, based on the learners’ competence (learner centred) and;
- the qualification gained is recognised both nationally and in many instances is benchmarked against international standards.
Participating in a learnership
It is important to make an informed decision about which learnership to embark upon. Learners should:
- Plan their career path;
- Identify the learnership that supports the chosen career path;
- Gather as much information as possible about the learnership;
- Enquire about the applicable criteria for entering the learnership and
- Find an employer willing to provide practical work experience.