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When is the right time to find a learnership? This post responds to many questions about learnerships and access to them.

Is There a Right Time to Find a Learnership?

The right time to find a learnership is when you’re ready to learn and gain experience. Look when you have time to commit and when opportunities are available in your field. Start early to increase your chances!

How to Find a Learnership: When Are Learnerships Available?

SETA Learnerships are available throughout the year. So if you’re unemployed, keep looking for learnership adverts and don’t give up.

finding learnerships find a learnership poster

Where to Find a Learnership

There are many private training providers who work with employers to create opportunities for the unemployed. So you can find a learnership by contacting training companies and employers that offer learnerships. Employers obtain BEE Points and tax benefits by placing unemployed youth on learnerships and apprenticeships. Contact organisations that offer learnerships and write them a professional-looking request for information about applying for their learnerships.

questions about Why to Find a Learnership

find learnership 1

1. Must I have a job to Find a Learnership?

No, you don’t have to be employed to find a learnership. Because tthe learnership secures a job for the duration of the program. A Learnership is a vocational program linked to a specific qualification. It combines practical work experience with training. This means that you are both a worker and a learner whilst completing your Learnership. You will be required to sign a contract with an employer and a training provider committing yourself to the program. You are considered an employee at the company for the duration of your learnership.

So you don’t have to have a job in order to apply to be on a Learnership. But you must be willing to be employed whilst on the Learnership. A Learnership is not an academic qualification. As an occupational qualification, you are required to be assessed in the workplace in order to prove job competencies.

ccma affidavit

2. Am I protected by legislation (laws) when I’m on a Learnership?

Yes. As you are considered an employee at the company for the duration of your Learnership, you are protected by the same labour legislation protecting other employees. If you are unhappy with the way your Learnership is being run, you can lodge a dispute. Do this with the CCMA, Department of Labour and the SETA funding your Learnership. There are regulations specifically written for learnerships that cover Sunday workstipend rules and legal work hours.

3. Are Learnerships for Employed or Unemployed People?

Learnerships are for the employed and unemployed. So you can find a learnership if you are unemployed. You could be selected for a Learnership that the SETA refers to as an 18.2. program. An 18.1 Learnership is one directed at employed candidates who need to upgrade their skills and knowledge in order to progress within a company.

This article focuses on 18.2 programs which are for the unemployed.

4. Find a Learnership From a SETA: What is a SETA?

SETA stands for Sectoral Education and Training Authority. SETA’s are funded by businesses that pay a Skills Development Levy to SARS. During the year, SETA’s advertise to the levy-paying members, inviting them to submit applications to receive funding for training.

The government wants to issue these special training funds to businesses in the hope that additional jobs can be created and you are trained to fill them. Unfortunately, SETAs are often unpredictable and we cannot always know for sure how many or when funded opportunities will occur during the year. However, these opportunities do arise and they can occur at any point of the year. Each SETA tries to create these opportunities at least once during the year because the need is so high.

There are an estimated 4.3-million people who are unemployed, most of whom have little training and few skills. More than half of the Grade 12 learners who leave school every year don’t have sufficient basic skills to get work in any sector of the economy. At any one time there are as many as 7 000 graduates who have university degrees who are also unemployed. All these figures could be higher.

So it is clear that skills development, along with training and education are vital elements for the people in South Africa and for the economy. (

When is the best time to find a Learnership?

1. Do companies always get Learnerships started at the beginning of the year?  

Although most companies prefer to start Learnership programs at the beginning of the year – many can’t. Maybe their funding failed to come through in time. Or they couldn’t recruit the right candidates or they just weren’t very prepared. Be aware that this training is still considered new by many companies and that you could be on a Learnership with a company that has no previous experience.

2. When is The Right Time to Find a Learnership?

The 18.2 Learnerships receive funding from the SETAs. Some SETAs are organised enough to drive these opportunities as many as 4 times per year. This means that you can be searching for a Learnership four times a year and not only at the end or beginning of the year. Many opportunities arise so it’s important that you keep looking.

Companies often turn down the opportunity to run a learnership until they discover the tax rebates and BEE points benefits. This also means that many companies don’t understand the real value that a Learnership offers their business operations and that they end up offering learnerships for the wrong reasons. This can be bad for you as the experience can be very difficult for you. You really want to.

learnerships help unemployed youth

3. Will I get a job if I am on a Learnership?

A learnership cannot guarantee employment but it can improve your chances of employment.

If you are determined to find a learnership that’s right for your career and your life choices – you are going to have to work at it.

#KeepClimbing! ► ► ► 2min vid: How to Select a Learnership

Carefully select which learnerships you want to apply for. Remember that you can find a learnership by checking the specific qualification on SAQA. You must identify which qualifications you are interested in and want to apply for. Once you are clear about what you want to do, you can find companies that offer those Learnerships.

FAQ: The Best Time to Find a Learnership

Q1: What are SETA Learnerships?

A1: SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) Learnerships are structured training programs that combine theoretical knowledge and practical workplace experience. They are designed to provide young individuals with the skills and qualifications required for specific industries.

Q2: Are SETA Learnerships only available at certain times of the year?

A2: No, SETA Learnerships are available throughout the year. While some learnership programs may have specific application periods or deadlines, there are often opportunities available year-round. It is crucial to consistently search for learnership adverts and apply for them.

Q3: How can I find SETA Learnership opportunities?

A3: There are several ways to find SETA Learnership opportunities. You can search online job portals, visit the websites of relevant SETAs, follow their social media accounts, and subscribe to their newsletters. Additionally, you can contact local training centers, companies, or SETA offices directly to inquire about available learnership programs.

Q4: What are the eligibility criteria for SETA Learnerships?

A4: Eligibility criteria can vary depending on the specific learnership program and industry. Generally, learnerships are targeted towards young individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 who have completed at least Grade 12 or hold a relevant qualification. Each learnership may have its own specific requirements, such as specific subjects or prior work experience.

Q5: Are SETA Learnerships paid?

A5: Yes, SETA Learnerships are paid. Participants receive a monthly stipend or allowance for the duration of the learnership program. The amount of payment may vary depending on the industry, program, and level of qualification.

Q6: Can I apply for multiple SETA Learnerships at the same time?

A6: Yes, you can apply for multiple SETA Learnerships simultaneously. It is recommended to apply for as many learnerships as you are eligible for and interested in, as this increases your chances of securing a placement.

Q7: What documents are typically required for SETA Learnership applications?

A7: While document requirements can differ for each learnership, common documents often requested include an updated CV, certified copies of your identity document, educational certificates, and any other relevant qualifications or supporting documents specified in the learnership advertisement.

Q8: How long do SETA Learships usually last?

A8: The duration of SETA Learnerships can vary depending on the specific program and industry. Some learnerships may last for a few months, while others can extend up to a year or longer. The duration is typically outlined in the learnership advertisement or program details.

Q9: What are the benefits of completing a SETA Learnership?

A9: Completing a SETA Learnership offers several benefits, including gaining practical work experience, acquiring industry-specific skills and qualifications, enhancing employability, and building a professional network. Learnerships also provide an opportunity to earn a stipend while learning and pave the way for potential employment opportunities within the industry.

Q10: Is there an age limit for participating in SETA Learnerships?

A10: While SETA Learnerships generally target young individuals between the ages of 18 and 35, some learnerships may have specific age requirements or exceptions. It is advisable to review the eligibility criteria for each learnership to determine if there are any age restrictions.

Remember, persistence and consistent effort are key when searching for learnership opportunities. Don’t give up and keep applying for learnerships throughout the year to increase your chances of securing a valuable learning experience and opening doors to future employment prospects.

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Leonie Hall

Leonie Hall, disruptive thinker and dynamic strategist, is an expert in education, development, quality management and innovation. She has spoken at local and international conferences; and currently works as an independent consultant and content developer. Contact Leonie for a consultation.

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When is The Right Time to Find a Learnership? Now