How to Manage Learnerships ? | Learnerships in South Africa
If you are considering Learnerships as a key element of your Human Capital strategy, then it is important to get it right. Learnerships can be very beneficial to an organizations reputation but it is quite difficult to get right. Firstly you need to make sure you understand the structure within the Government and the policy frameworks and regulations (including legislation) and the funding and disbursement mechanisms that have been put in place. Once you have worked your way through the various obstacles then you need to ensure that from an internal perspective your organization is well equipped to support a Learnership programme.
Why embark on Learnership Programmes?
Apart from the obvious fact that a well designed and implemented learnership can provide the bridge between theoretical education and skilled, experienced resources it also creates a close cooperative relationship between education and training providers and employers. Individuals on the programme are given the opportunity to gain practical expertise and the flexibility to move across occupational contexts to acquire an optimal range of working experience.
Managing a Learnership Programme
It is important to note that a credit based qualification system requires administrative support in order to record the learners skills level in various competencies. The management of this learning is also a necessity. Therefore there are three different areas of management of learnerships that can be readily identified:
- The management of providers and learners
- The management of learnerships and the development of quality in provision
- The management of the learnership system – meeting the objectives of the Skills Development Act (No 97 of 1998)
Like any contractual agreement of employment; learners on a learnership programme are managed through a legally binding agreement that provides clear guidelines to the responsibilities and rights of each party in the relationship. This should be used as the tool that ensures the quality of the learnerships and serves as the mechanism to assure proper labour relations are adhered to.
Skills Development Act (No 97 of 1988)
This Act requires the contracted learnership agreement to be registered with the relevant SETA. The SETA serves as a uniform framework that governs the nature of the agreement. It is imperative that the following issues are addressed by this agreement:
- Rights and obligations of the learnership parties (learner; employer; registered training provider and the SETA)
- Entry requirements (this is with respect to age; education; physical and mental requirements)
- The registration office at which (and the period within which) learnerships must be registered at the relevant SETA
- The period and terms of termination of the agreement as well as variations to the agreement must also be clearly stipulated
- Provisions must be made for school going learners who want to enter the learnership system
- And parents of learners younger than 15 years are required to sign the agreement on behalf of their children
|Once registered with the relavant SETA all learnership agreements will be binding. As a result the SETA must provide a record of learnership with the Department of Labour. Noting the following information: