What is a Learnership?
A Learnership programme combines theory and practical skills that you will need in a work environment. The learner will have the opportunity to learn life skills such as communication and teamwork and receives a qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework (abbreviated as NQF). Anyone who has completed school, college or any training institutions between the ages of 16 and 35 qualifies for the learnership programs. It is not necessary to complete a learnership to get a qualification, whereas a learnership could lead to a qualification.
In order to protect all the parties involved. a contract will be drawn up between the employer, the learner and an accredited skills development training provider for the duration of the programme. The program will then be noted as an outcomes-based and not time-based, which allows for recognition of prior learning.
Benefits of learnerships to employers?
- Training is relevant to business needs because Learnerships involve job training meaning that the employee can still work.
- Improved skills and work performance.
- Government tax incentives. SETAs offer cash grants for learnerships. As legislated in section 12H of the Income Tax Act, 58 of 1962 and the amendments made in January 2010.
- Companies earn BEE points.
- Nationally recognized, therefore, there will be more opportunities to further learning.
- Create skilled employees who will add value to the business.
Benefits of learnerships for learners?
- Earn an income while enhancing your skills and ultimately enhance their career prospects.
- Opportunity for further learning and obtaining a recognised qualification that can be portable from one company to another.
- Personal development and self-esteem improves.
- Improved quality education with a practical relevance of what you are learning.
- Either with an employer, through self-employment or in temporary employment there are access and opportunities for beneficial employment.
Implementing learnerships – The Drawbacks?
There are benefits to both the employer and the employee that outweigh the drawbacks when a learnership has been strategically planned and implemented. For instance, it is vital for the employer to use a Training Provider that have skilled and experienced lecturers to assist learners (their employees) in applying the theory into the workplace. The Training Provider will also take care of the paperwork while the employer concentrates on their business.
The (SARS) Tax Incentives (Legislated in section 12H of the Income Tax Act, 58 of 1962, amended in January 2010) are deducted from the taxable income that can be claimed by an employed candidate in a learnership. The allowance is based on a 12 month period, and full periods of a month. The learnership can be carried over to another employer (if linked to the trade) while the employee is in training. The new employer can claim for the rest of the year and also the full completion allowance.
(SETAs) Learnership Grants
Depending on the type of qualification/skills and levels of that particular qualification that is to be acquired, the cost of a learnership program varies according to MERSETAs. Therefore, it is very important to always contact the appropriate SETA for latest information especially on funding.
On subject to availability, note that grants are offered on a first come, first serve basis and are subject to availability. The application should also clearly state that the learnership would address a needed skill in the sector.
Written by Sthembokuhle Ndlovu
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