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LEARNERSHIPS

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

Skills shortages are a key threat to the future growth of South African businesses. Upskilling the existing workforce is vital for securing a business’s future and ensuring it remains competitive. If you or your employees are well trained they’ll be more productive, leading to increased efficiency, and higher profits for your business.

LEARNERSHIPS

A learnership is a work-based route to obtaining a qualification. It is an education and training programme comprising of both structured practical workplace (on-the-job) experience and structured theoretical training. The duration of a learnership is approximately twelve months and results in a full national qualification. CTU has over 14 registered ICT Learnerships up to NQF Level 5 and 6.

At CTU the learnership best practice is identified as follows:

  • All training is instructor-led.
  • Training times are structured according to required notional hours per learnership.
  • Learners attend training and workplace learning sessions based on an agreed schedule.

Various other options can be offered. However, CTU suggests the 6 months theoretical session and 6 months’ workplace experience as the best option – depending on accreditation requirements. Learnership groups smaller than 20 will fall into various available programme schedules. Groups larger than 20 are not restricted to specific starting dates and their schedules can be customized according to the client’s needs.

PRIMARY BENEFITS OF LEARNERSHIPS:

Upskilling of Employees and Related Benefits

There are immediate benefits to upskilling employees on learnerships for the employer:

  • Increased loyalty towards the employer – Employees are less likely to leave a company that takes interest and invests in their personal and professional development.
  • Technical expertise is enhanced.
  • Learnerships involve a high portion of on-the-job training. Work performance and productivity are not negatively impacted as much when compared to traditional learning methods.
  • Increased productivity and profitability – Employees tend to be more motivated and strive to add greater value to the organisation.

BENEFITS FOR THE PARTICIPANT:

  • Participants need learnerships because they cannot afford the loss of income that would result in full-time studying.
  • Participants gain technical expertise and knowledge through learnerships that are directly and practically related to their field of work.
  • Learnerships enable further learning and allow participants the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification through a structured learning programme.
  • A good qualification provides a basis for further personal development. Work standards and job satisfaction are improved and the participant has a greater self-image and self-esteem.

B-BBEE BENEFITS:

One of the major benefits of a learnership to a company is the impact on the skills development aspect of your B-BBEE scorecard. CTU Training Solutions has B-BBEE experts available to assist in ensuring that learnership interventions are implemented in a manner that maximises the B-BBEE scorecard. Points are based on a Generic Scorecard.

LEARNERSHIP B-BBEE RECOGNITION:

In many aspects, a company could earn points under employment equity for black people.

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT EXPENDITURE

The skills development element requires that 6% of the annual payroll is spent on black employees. The thresholds for classification as an Exempted Micro Enterprise (EME), Qualifying Small Enterprise (QSE) or Generic Entity are as follows:

  • EME: Annual Turnover under R 10 mil – exempt from BEE.
  • QSE: Annual turnover between R10 million and R50 million.
  • Generic (Large) Entity: Annual turnover of R50 million or more.

For a Generic Entity, in total 6% of the leviable amount should be spent on training specified in the Learning Programmes Matrix for black people. At least 0.3% of the leviable amount should be spent on training specified in the Learning Programmes Matrix for black people with disabilities. Learnerships, apprenticeships or internships for black employees and black unemployed people are required for a Generic Entity. The target is 2.5% of the entity’s total workforce for black employees and black unemployed people.

HOW ARE LEARNERSHIPS FUNDED?

Funded learnerships are funded by a SETA where the company is registered and has applied for funding, while unfunded learnerships are self-funded by a private company. With funded learnerships, SETAs will advise when funding is available, while with unfunded learnerships, the company needs to send a letter of intent to the SETA it is registered with, indicating when it would like to run the learnership, the programme that it intends to run and the number of partici-pants it would like to host.

SETAs advertise in national newspapers and on websites. They also send e-mails to companies that submit a Workplace

Skills Plan or participate in other projects with them. In most instances, SETAs indicate programmes and NQF levels that address skills shortages at that time.

Companies wanting to engage in learnerships must ensure that their Workplace Skills Plan includes the learnerships they want to host, as well as the scarce and critical skills being addressed. When asked for funding, certain SETAs consider whether the applicant has identified critical or scarce skills in their proposed learnership plan.

When companies submit their Workplace Skills Plans, some SETAs expect them to submit the learnership funding request at the same time, as these run concurrently. Certain SETAs’ funding windows open after submission of a Workplace Skills Plan, while others open twice a year. Companies must know which model their SETA follows so that they can prepare properly.

Regardless of whether the learnership is funded or unfunded, companies can claim Company Tax rebates at the beginning and end of the learnership. This is subject to the registra-tion of the participants at the SETA and the completion of the learnerships by these participants. It is also pro-rated according to the tax year. In order to claim the tax rebate from the SA Revenue Service, the company must have a form from the SETA stating each participant’s registration and progress/completion.

INTERNSHIPS

An internship is a programme designed to give higher education graduates an opportunity to extend their academic qualifications with structured workplace exposure and specialised training. The MICT SETA utilizes the concept of internships to fast-track high level skills, to offer needed work experience to unemployed graduates and to empower graduates with practical knowledge aligned with their qualification. CTU provides companies and participants the opportunity to develop unemployed youth or graduates through CTU accredited programmes. The IT industry increasingly requires participants to enter companies with real-life, structured practical experience, as well as an in-depth theoretical background.

We Provide an opportunity for:

  • Graduates looking for structured workplace exposure in the IT, Design and Business & Management fields to extend and build on their academic qualification.
  • Previously disadvantage participants looking for an opportunity to study within the ICT industry.
  • Organisations wanting to recruit participants with the skills to meet the demands of today’s technology without any training cost obligation.

CTU offers organisations the opportunity to participate in our various internship projects and to offer a participant/s workplace experience after graduation where they will gain invaluable marketing, technical sales or customer service skills. These courses are delivered online or face-to-face in real-time, enabling participants to interact with established industry experts. The vision for our internship projects is to give graduates the opportunity to study market-relevant technologies and receive relevant exposure from companies, making them more employable.

The stakeholder companies will be required to compensate a participant with a monthly stipend. Speak to a Human Resource Development Consultant at CTU if you wish to participate in any future funded or non-funded internship projects, and help give a graduate the opportunity to succeed.

Read more about Learnerships here:

My Broadband Article IT Web Article

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