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What is a learnership?

Learnerships: a win-win-win for everyone!

You will have heard the saying: ‘Killing two birds with one stone’ before. Well, a learnership is a work-based learning programme that kills three birds with one stone. That’s right, three parties benefit from a single learnership: the learner, the employer and the training provider. The learner gets the benefit of learning in theory and in practice, the employer gets the benefit of an extra resource and fresh ideas for their business, while the training provider gets the benefit of offering students practical experience in a real-life setting. Talk about a win-win-win scenario!

What is a learnership exactly?

It’s a work-based learning programme, managed by Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), that will give you an NQF-registered qualification. Learnerships are directly related to a specific career like teaching or electrical engineering. Many employers won’t hire someone who has no experience. Learnerships help to give you the experience you need to make your CV more attractive to recruiters when you are applying for jobs.

Step-by-step guide to applying for a learnership

Step 1: Choose your career path

Take some time to think about the kind of job and training you would benefit from in terms of your long-term goals, for example a desk job or working with your hands.

Step 2: Search for the right learnership

You can search different websites to see what types of learnerships are available. You’ll need to identify ones that matches your chosen career path. You can also contact SETAs to find out which employers actually offer learnerships.

Step 3: Follow the learnerships application guideline

Each learnership will have different requirements and application steps. Make sure you follow the steps carefully. Errors in the application process may put the employer off giving you a chance to go for an interview or may mean your application is rejected.

Step 4: Read, read, read

Knowledge is power! Read through all the details of the learnership so that you know exactly what it entails. Be sure to check out the criteria of the learnership – ask the employer if you are not sure of something, it is important to find out exactly what they are looking for so that there are no unmet expectations on either side.

Step 5: Register as a work-seeker at your nearest labour centre

This will help employers to find you if you are in the market for a learnership. Remember, it is a win-win-win so employers also look for suitable candidates.

Step 6: Review your CV

Make sure it aligns with the roles and responsibilities of the learnership you are interested in. Write a professional cover letter to go with your CV. It’s the perfect opportunity to promote yourself and let the employer know why you would be a perfect fit for their learnership.

Step 5: Prepare for possible interviews

Do your research – read up about the company you are interested in. Then prepare regular interview questions and craft your answers so that you are confident and prepared. You can even ask family members or a friend to role-play an interview so that you can practise your answers.

Here are some excellent resources that you can use to find a learnership that suits your chosen career path:


Good luck! You’ve got this!

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