Mon, Aug 8, 2022

What is a Learnership, how do you find and apply for them?

What is a Learnership?

  1. A learnership is a vocational training program, they are similar to apprenticeships in that they prepare you for specific job functions.
  2. Learnerships can be funded by a SETA (Sectoral Education and Training Authority) or business.
  3. Only accredited training providers registered with a SETA may conduct Learnership training.
  4. A Learnership is divided into theoretical and practical (on-the-job) components.
  5. SETA’s divide learners into two categories: 18.1: Employed candidates or 18.2: Unemployed candidates.
  6. 18.2 Learnerships can target the poor, unemployed and unskilled. Learnerships give these candidates invaluable workplace exposure and potential employment opportunities.
  7. 18.1 Learnerships target the Employed. These candidates can be placed on Learnerships in order to improve their career mobility opportunities with their employer.
  8. A learnership is usually a year or longer commitment and if successful, the learner will receive an industry based qualification.
  9. Each economic sector in South Africa is represented by a Sectoral Education and Training Authority. These SETA’s coordinate training and development within their sectors. Perhaps you come from an economically challenged environment – you cannot afford to pay tertiary education fees but have the enthusiasm and passion to study further – learnerships create opportunities for you.

  10. Each learnership will have it’s own entry requirements based on language, aptitude, skills etc. You might not meet the entry requirements of one learnership but meet the needs of another.
  11. Keep going, keep Climbing, YOU must not give up!!

Words of Advice

  • Learnerships are not easy!
  • Some people sign up because of the stipend. They think that this is one way to earn money. Unfortunately the stipend is only enough to get you to and from class, buy a cheap meal during the day and provide some financial support during your Learnership.
  • It should not be seen as an income or as an entitlement. The stipend is there because we don’t want poor people to be excluded from opportunity.

So here’s some hints.

You don’t have money, want to study but don’t qualify for a bursary?

  1. Step: Decide which sector you want to work in – eg hospitality, security, banking, printing etc.
  2. Step: Identify which SETA is relevant to you.
  3. Step: Check their website for their ‘Training Service Provider Data Base’. Most SETA’s publish this in order to avoid you calling them directly! A service provider is someone accredited by them to run industry specific training. At the end of the training you will receive a certificate with the SETA and Training Provider logo on – this means that your training is recognized by industry and meets SETA standards. You can also view contact lists Keep Climbing has published.


4 Step: Contact service providers to see if they are recruiting. If they are, make sure you have copies of all your certificates (matric), your last report card if you do not have matric and a well written, updated CV. Write a cover letter using correct language – don’t do it lokshin style… Then Apply!!!

Which NQF level is appropriate for you?

Many people become confused between the different levels in our education system. We have a National Qualifications Framework which ranks all courses and qualifications. Think of it as a ladder.

  • If you have completed Matric, you have a NQF level 4 qualification. However, this is an academic qualification, not a vocational one. Meaning that you don’t yet have an industry specific or trade qualification.
  • If you are looking for a learnership, look for one at L3 or L4.

Matric is not a vocational (job) qualification. Matric is a stepping stone to what ever your dream or ambition is. Learnerships are qualifications directed specifically towards what industry needs.

You Can Move UP and Down the NQF in order to Learn Relevant Skills

  • Never assume that Learning must only mean moving up the NQF. There will be times when you have to acquire new skills and will need to complete a program below your former qualification.
  • For example,  a doctor has a degree but from time to time needs to be placed on additional training in order to improve their skills or knowledge in new areas of medical development. Perhaps they must learn how to use a new piece of equipment, the program is possibly only on a NQFL 5 but they are already qualified at NQFL 8!
  • Another example that is relevant to unemployed college or university graduates is the following:
  • The New Venture Creation qualification is at NQFL 2 and 4. This qualification targets those who wish to set up their own businesses and become entrepreneurs. It is a demanding program, at level 4 you must not only learn about business – you must set up and run one too. A university or college graduate with an NQFL6  or 7 qualification would qualify for the L4 program because it is assumed they would cope with the theoretical and practical demands of setting up a business within their relevant field. Even though it’s at a lowwer level than their degree or diploma, it’s a new knowledge field for them and they would be required to complete the business qualification at level 4.
  • So don’t think that because you have a level 4 or higher qualification that you will not benefit from a program at a lower NQF level. You must look at the skills – if they are new skills then you’re fine. However, if the skills and knowledge are ones you have already acquired then move on and find a qualification that exposes you to a new challenge.

Other stuff

The table below lists the types of qualifications listed on the different levels of the National Qualification’s Framework.



HOT LIST SETA Contacts for Learnerships Internships and Apprenticeships

Is Non Disclosure of Pay in Job Ads Equally Fair to Employers and Applicants? #HRMustFall


Good luck!

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Gabie Feb 15, 2011 at 10:14 pm

I’d like 2study music but can’t afford 2pay 4my fees I write and peform my own songs I’d like 2 gets a lrarnership

yvonne nomfezeko Aug 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm

hi i am a 23 year old girl i passed my matric on 2007.i want stady nursing but i dont have money to study further.i need help i have no one to pay for me.

Rosinah moshidi Sep 7, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I would like to know when i can i apply to study

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Ntobeko Sambo Jan 26, 2013 at 8:38 am

I’m Ntobeko from Mpumalanga at Nelspruit I want to study nursing I didn’t pass my matric my parents died I don’t have money to study please help me my life is hard I’m 25 yrs I have 2 kids please I have no 1 to turn to thank you

    The Cross Pollinating Project Nomad Jan 26, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Hey Ntobeko! It sucks when you have no one to turn to but I’m positive that there’s a way out ok. I’m going to find some info and then respond in more detail with some ideas for you…even though you don’t have matric there are learnerships that you can be placed on. I’m going to check what’s out there and let you know.

    The Cross Pollinating Project Nomad Jan 26, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Ok Ntobeko!
    Healthcare presents many opportunities – not just hospital nursing so explore your options. Find someone who does community health care and have a chat to them about how they made it. Perhaps you live close to a community clinic, I’m pretty sure there’s a cool nursing mamma there who would take time to give you contacts and advice. Don’t be shy! 🙂
    These are two courses you can consider, they are run in Mpumalanga by a local training provider I found online:
    GETC in Ancillary Health Care NQF Level 1
    NC in Community Health Worker NQF Level 2
    Company contacts:
    TEL: 013 773 0950 and

    You can also contact the HWSETA, they are the ones who check that training providers do the right stuff and provide funds so that people who can’t afford training can still be trained. But they don’t give money to you ok, they pay training companies to do the training. So you can call them and ask who else is running Health & Welfare learnerships in Mpumalanga.
    Their contacts:
    Telephone: (011) 607 6900 Call Centre Number: 0800864478

    I’m really sorry for your troubles, but no matter how bad it feels you must do your best to fight your way out. If you can’t find a course to join immediately, I want you to make it your job to call the SETA every two months. Call them even if some rude person tells you to stop calling, its your right to call and they get paid to give you information ok?! Courses get started throughout the year so there will be more opportunities this year even if you missed them now. But you gotta work at it sister!
    Keep in touch, let me know what happened and if I can help you further! Best wishes!
    Leonie Hall

Hlengiwe Mdletshe Feb 3, 2013 at 11:48 am

Hi i am 31yrs married woman both of us we are unemployed at present bt dream is to become a professional nurse and i have love for this job.I hv a 5yrs little girl who is very geniuse,she appeared in 3 different newspapers including the Daily sun nw she is at grade1 and she amazes everyone at school .As a parent im worried abt the future of my family and how cn i help my girl further her studies if im unemployed so ive registerd my matric this year and im studying i want to realize my dream of nursing so pls help me.I hv my grade 11 school report which ive passed so well.My subjects are physics,biology .I nearly forgot to mentition wher i stay im from Hammarsdale near Pietermaritzburg in Kwazulu

    The Cross Pollinating Project Nomad Feb 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Hi Hlengiwe
    Your comment made a very very important point that I wish more parents would consider! You realize that to give your little girl the best future possible you need to be creating a better future for yourself. I think you’re an amazing woman.
    I’m from KZN too so know where you are and will try to put you into contact with people who can assist. Email me directly, and lets see how we can take it further.
    Please also contact the HWSETA, see my post on SETA Contacts for learnerships. Ask them about training opportunities and let me know what they said.

Hlengiwe Mdletshe Feb 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm

thnx for the reply Hammarsdale is between Durban nd Pietermaritzburg bt i prefer Durban for study .Im married to very supportive husband nd you wont regret if you ve offered me assistance.Hammarsdale is a small town which is near Mpumalanga town ship my number is 0732794754 at school my subjects are physics,biology im writing cause u a my last nd last hope of success

Khensani mnisi May 27, 2013 at 10:54 pm

I really wanna go bck to skul i owe to myself

Thabo Jun 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Im 25 yrs old im dying 2 find a learnership 2 study 4 nursing i have a passion in nursing i realised that i took de subject that they dnt correspond in nursing nd it was late 4 that because i was in matric by then,so ive been volunteering as a care giver and also a health education dat i gained in lovelife nd NAPWA so plz i nid help.

    Thabo Jun 12, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    I passed my matric in 2006

prudence duduzile nonyane Jul 11, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I want to study to be a nurse yet I don’t have a matric certificate but am really determined and want to do this can somebody please help me I don’t have funds and I really want 2 study please anyone I need help

gcobisa Oct 9, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Hi I’m 23 year old I want to study nursing but I faild my matric so do I qualify for nursing,where can I apply here in port elizabeth,do I qualify for a bursary pleeease heeeelp.

ntombenhle Oct 25, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I am looking fr a learnership I have matric I want to study social worker but I don’t have money to pay my schoolfees but I promise if I can get help I can do it I am a hardworker. My problem is I didn’t get the job because I have two operations on my legs but I walk so sometimes its getting painful when its cold so I want to study and get the good job. I can’t even register my pension because I walk propely I’m staying in jhb pls help

Kgomotso Adelaide Ratsela Oct 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Iam a girl of 34 yrs old,Im from poor family ive passed my level 4 at abet,now i stay at home doing nothing,I want learnership for security because ive got Grades for security,so i think you can help me.

ZINHLE Jan 12, 2014 at 5:57 am


ZINHLE Jan 12, 2014 at 5:59 am


ntokozo Bilose Jan 22, 2014 at 9:13 am

I really need yr help,am desperate,I need to study,I don’t have money,don’t have someone,all my parent past way,only I have metric!,I want to do social worker,

banele zuma Mar 10, 2014 at 8:02 am

I really need to further my studies,I hv only my level 4 results only I really wanna study help me find a learnership so I can build a career.

Abigail Apr 17, 2014 at 4:37 pm

My name is Abigail I do not have matric and funds to even study nursing privately.My hearts desire was always to be a nurse.Please help if u can in anyway to accomplish my passion.Thank u

Sivu Poti Jun 13, 2014 at 10:05 pm

I don’t have a matric but did the New Venture Creation NQF level 4, do I qualify for a university level

dineo motsiri Jun 25, 2014 at 1:49 pm

My name is dineo,I will love to work @ the bank,bt I don’t have matric certificate please.

Nancysabawe Jul 14, 2014 at 10:12 pm

I am a woman of three chidren, please i am looking for help ,i have a home based certificate and i want to study as a nurse i dont have have money but i tried my level best to look for work for work but no old age home emply me , please help me i am a single mother my first born is in grade 8 and all my children are doing well at school ,so please help me where i can work and study here in milnerton cape town pls

Nancysabawe Jul 14, 2014 at 10:14 pm

I am a woman of three chidren, please i am looking for help ,i have a home based certificate and i want to study as a nurse i dont have have money but i tried my level best to look for work for work but no old age home emply me , please help me i am a single mother my first born is in grade 8 and all my children are doing well at school ,so please help me where i can work and study here in milnerton cape town pls my cell no is 078231 4301 by sms pls,

Lebogang Motsosi Jul 16, 2014 at 12:45 pm

I’m 32years I want to go back to school. I don t have money I want help

    zues Nov 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    go to any f.e.t or university tell them what you just wrote here… They will help you with nsfas

Aphiwe Jul 23, 2014 at 1:38 pm

I want the learnership nursing grade 11 how can i do?

Aphiwe Jul 23, 2014 at 1:41 pm

I want the learnership nursing grade 11,how can i do?

Nthabiseng Jul 24, 2014 at 12:40 pm

I don’t have matric but i did national certificate NQF 4 in technical support, i would like to know there is any chances that i can get learnership?

katlego P.L Aug 8, 2014 at 8:05 am

I want a learnership

nthabiseng Aug 8, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Am 24yrs old I have NQF level 4 IT certificate would like to join u want can I do to qualify

sinethemba dlamini Aug 14, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Hi I’m Sinethemba Dlamini frm Hammarsdale kzn I would lyk 2 study nursing bt I can’t afford it cz its expensive, hv studied home base n hiv/aids counselling. I would lyk 2 further my studies so that my kids will hv a brighter future, thnx

The Cross Pollinating Project Nomad Oct 5, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Reblogged this on SETA Learnerships and commented:

Many people ask me ‘What is a Learnership?’

mpho Oct 19, 2014 at 10:12 am

i hv fail grade 11 an i lyk to do electrical engineering part time so cn i hv help frm u im staying welkom

zues Nov 5, 2014 at 12:19 pm

I am from polokwane.I have matric and n6 in financial management looking for learnership, please help

nurse mahlangu Jan 5, 2015 at 2:12 pm

I have an abet4 certificate in ancillary, would like to get a learnership in health department,doing nursing or ancillary is my dream,but if its not possible,I would like you guys to help me with funds in order for me to further my studies or do anything that will help me get employment.

    Cross Pollinating Project Nomad Jan 8, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Hey Nurse Mahlangu
    We feel your passion. Please keep visiting, when we receive news of learnerships we post it. If you Follow us you’ll receive emails telling you what’s been posted.
    Keep Climbing!

nokulunga Jan 18, 2015 at 3:48 pm

i want to study home base care and i have a grade 11 report an i pass it.what should i do to study much is the fee or can i get learnerships.

tshepang kenneth Jan 25, 2015 at 3:07 pm

i would to enroll for ancilliary nursing health care,i have a NQF 1 FOR AET would i have an access to obtain ancilliary health care level 2 through learnership or i should attend to various college to persue that field of interest or something?

Faith Dutton Jan 28, 2015 at 8:15 am

Good day

Please assist me, I’m having difficulties finding a job due to now Matric.
I’ve worked for a few companies and I’ve been fortunate to do a few courses through those companies ,which I have valid proof of Certificates of courses passed. I need to know what NQF level I am??? Will you be able to assist me please.

I’m in urgent need of feedback. Please help me With my query.

Many Thanks
Faith Dutton
Cell : 0728711112

    Cross Pollinating Project Nomad Jan 30, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Hi there Faith! If you have Matric, you’re at NQFL4. Chances are that those courses you did are anywhere from NQFL3 – maybe even level 5! You need to tell us if you did unit standards, what level were they at or did you do a full qualification? If you have certificates, they should say what NQF level the courses are registered at.
    Did you check it? Let us know if you have any further questions!
    Best wishes for 2015!!!!
    The Cross Pollinator

Tshiamo Jan 28, 2015 at 8:30 pm

hi, well I failed my matric for a second time due to my sickness, I wanna know that do I have a chance to apply for learnership or should I go back to rewrite again?

    Cross Pollinating Project Nomad Jan 30, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Hey Tshiamo! It’s great to have Matric, if you do get it, it means you will easily be accepted onto a NQFL3 learnership and could be credited with the two languages if you apply for a NQFL4 learnership. We really want to encourage you to not give up if you still have fight in you to accomplish it.
    Let’s say you find a NQFL3 learnership and get accepted on it – maybe consider it. The learnership may allow you to flourish in a non academic setting, different to school. If you manage to get accepeted onto a NQFL4 learnership – maybe we would say ‘Go for it!’ because it’s on the same NQF level as MATRIC but specifically equips you to do a job and get valuable work experience. But it’s a decision you must make, your dreams are yours, don’t give up on them. Life is hard, you must be willing to push hard for what you believe is the right decision for yourself. Let us know what you decided to do! Best of luck for 2015!!!
    The Cross Pollinator

mahlodi selinah Feb 11, 2015 at 10:11 am

i want to study but I don’t have money to pay for my studies

    Cross Pollinating Project Nomad Feb 11, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I know what that’s like! When I studied full-time I also worked full-time waitressing. It was crap work and long hours but that’s what I did. I see you’ve read the article about finding a learnership, now get going! Read a few more articles, follow the links to learnership adverts and start doing something positive every single day. Best wishes and let me know what you’ve done!

Tshiamo Feb 13, 2015 at 4:15 pm

hi my name is Tshiamo, am 20years old. I want to study a social worker but I’ve failed my matric, do I have a chance to study.

Tshiamo Feb 13, 2015 at 4:16 pm

hi my name is Tshiamo, am 20years from hammanskraal. I want to study a social worker but I’ve failed my matric, do I have a chance to study.

fortunate Feb 19, 2015 at 10:01 am

hi, my name is fortunate i passed abet level 4 with flying colors. i just wanted to find out if it is possible for me to study social work.

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