Dangerous Learnership Hopping: Risk and Reward

Learnership hopping, resigning and registering for more than one learnership is dangerous. This post explains double-dipping and why you must be responsible in selecting your best opportunities.

Dangerous Learnership Hopping: The Pitfalls of Casual Dropouts and the Importance of Commitment

hiring youth

Double-dipping is when you want to earn the same rewards after already having received those rewards. So if you have already completed a Business Administration Learnership at NQF Level 4, you cannot enrol for the same qualification at the same level again. An employer is accused of double-dipping if they try to claim rewards twice when they are only entitled to claim rewards once. In other words, it’s being paid twice for the same thing.

If you register on the same learnership you make the employer look bad and you look irresponsible and selfish. It’s selfish because you’re taking an opportunity away from someone who hasn’t yet had one. But if you want to apply for a different learnership on NQF level 4, such as tourism, for example, you may do so. Repeating an NQF level is generally not considered a problem if you wish to pursue that particular career option and especially if you can combine the skills from your last learnership.

Are You Learnership Hopping? Drop outs and resignations

Learnership hopping is when you start a learnership with one employer and then hop to another programme with a different employer. Resigning and registering for more than one learnership is dangerous as learnerships are registered with SARS and are traceable.

Is learnership hopping wrong?

There’s no harm in pursuing a better opportunity but you should not be casual about doing so. Carefully weigh out the options and discuss them with your current learnership employer.

cv and cover letter services

If you Hop: Don’t be a Learnership Dropout

A learnership dropout is when you just disappear from the programme without any warning to your employer. This will label you as unreliable, especially if you avoid taking calls and don’t respond to their emails. The employer might assume you have a health or some other personal problem to deal with. They might therefore maintain your learnership registration in the hope that you will return.

Employer Administration: Learnerships are registered with SARS

Employers obtain rewards for hosting your learnership and patiently supporting your growth at their premises. Each learner is carefully selected for a learnership. They are absorbed into the business so they must show commitment, industry potential and the ability to fit in at work.

Dropout Disadvantage: Break the learner paper trail

If you drop out and disappear, you break your paper trail and lose out on documentation to support future opportunities. If you wish to resign, the employer is legally required to provide you with documentation to reflect the work and training you received. If they don’t, you can report them to the relevant SETA and the Department of Labour.

Learnership Hopping: Potential Consequences

Embarking on a learnership is an exciting opportunity to gain valuable skills and knowledge while kickstarting your career. However, it’s crucial to understand the potential dangers of learnership hopping – the act of casually dropping out of one learnership and registering for another without due consideration. We encourage learners to adopt a more responsible and committed approach for their own benefit and that of their employers.

questions to ask interviewers at learnership interviews

The Lack of Commitment: Learnership Hopping

Commitment is a fundamental aspect of any successful learnership. Hopping from one learnership to another without valid reasons can reflect poorly on your dedication and work ethic. Employers value learners who demonstrate perseverance and commitment to completing the program, indicating their reliability and willingness to grow within the organization.

Stunted Skill Development: Drop Outs

Learnerships provide a structured learning environment designed to enhance your skills and knowledge in a specific field. Constantly switching learnerships can slow down your skill development as each program offers a unique curriculum and workplace experience. By staying committed to a single learnership, you have the opportunity to delve deeper into the subject matter and gain a comprehensive understanding of the industry.

Limited Networking Opportunities:

One significant advantage of participating in a learnership is the networking potential it offers. Building professional relationships with mentors, colleagues, and industry experts can open doors to future opportunities. However, learnership hopping can severely restrict your networking opportunities as you fail to establish lasting connections and build a strong professional network.

Negative Impact on Employers:

Learnership hopping doesn’t just affect the learners; it can also have adverse consequences for employers. When learners frequently drop out without valid reasons, employers face financial losses, operational disruptions, and wasted resources. By understanding the impact on employers, learners can appreciate the importance of honouring their commitments and completing the learnership program they have initially chosen.

about yeti - youth employment tax incentive

Reputation and Future Opportunities:

Consistently hopping between learnerships can tarnish your professional reputation. Employers may view your track record of incomplete learnerships as a lack of commitment and reliability. This can make it difficult to secure future learnerships or employment opportunities as potential employers may question your dedication and willingness to stick with a program or role long-term.

Personal Growth and Long-Term Goals:

Learnerships are not solely about acquiring technical skills; they also provide an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery. By committing to a learnership, you can challenge yourself, overcome obstacles, and develop the resilience needed for a successful career. Additionally, staying the course aligns with your long-term goals, allowing you to build a solid foundation of expertise and experience in a specific field.

Final Words on Dangerous Learnership Hopping

Learnership hopping may seem tempting when faced with challenges or the allure of something new, but it comes with significant risks. Committing to a learnership and seeing it through to completion demonstrates your dedication, professionalism, and willingness to learn and grow. By adopting a responsible and committed approach, you not only benefit yourself by maximizing your skill development and networking opportunities but also contribute to a positive and productive learning environment for your employers. Remember, true success comes from staying the course and embracing the journey of continuous learning and growth.


FAQ: Learnership Hopping: Casual Makes Casualties

Q1: What is learnership hopping?

A: Learnership hopping refers to the practice of casually dropping out of one learnership program and registering for another without following proper procedures or considering the consequences. It involves frequently switching learnerships without valid reasons or a genuine commitment to completing the program.

Q2: Why is learnership hopping risky?

A: Learnership hopping poses several risks. It reflects a lack of commitment and can hinder your skill development, networking opportunities, and overall professional growth. It can also have negative implications for employers, resulting in financial losses and operational disruptions. Additionally, it can damage your reputation and limit future career prospects.

Q3: What are the correct procedures for resigning from a learnership?

A: Resigning from a learnership should be done responsibly and professionally. Here are the correct procedures to follow:

  1. Review the learnership agreement: Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions outlined in your learnership agreement, including the notice period and resignation process.
  2. Notify your employer: Inform your employer or the designated contact person about your intention to resign from the learnership program. Provide a written resignation letter, clearly stating your reasons for resigning.
  3. Complete any required paperwork: If there are specific forms or documents that need to be completed, ensure you fulfill those requirements as per the learnership agreement.
  4. Hand over responsibilities: If applicable, ensure a smooth transition of your tasks and responsibilities to a suitable replacement, if one has been identified.
  5. Seek guidance from your training provider: Consult your training provider or the relevant authorities to ensure you follow any additional procedures specific to your learnership program.

Q4: How can learners ensure a responsible approach to their learnership commitment?

A: Learners can adopt the following strategies:

  1. Consider long-term goals: Evaluate the learnership program in relation to your long-term career goals before committing.
  2. Assess compatibility: Ensure the learnership aligns with your interests, skills, and aspirations to reduce the likelihood of wanting to drop out.
  3. Seek guidance and support: If facing challenges, reach out to mentors, trainers, or fellow learners for guidance and support before making hasty decisions.
  4. Reflect and communicate: If you are genuinely unsatisfied or facing significant challenges, reflect on the reasons for your dissatisfaction and communicate openly with your employer or training provider.
  5. Complete due diligence: Before enrolling in a learnership, thoroughly research the program, the employer’s reputation, and the potential for growth and development.

Remember, commitment and responsible decision-making are key to maximizing the benefits.

Read More

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.

This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. Leonie Hall

    Work experience won’t harm your chances. Persevere forth!

  2. Tsela

    Hi, I have recently applied for an umployed learnership with a reputable company. I had a full time job but I have been unemployed now for 7 months. My question is: will it decrease my chances of being accepted for a learnership because of I have work experience?

  3. Tsela

    hi. I have recently applied for a learnership with a reputable company, I had a job before but I have been out of work for 7 month now. My question is; can I lose out on being accepted for a learnership because I have work experience?

  4. Leonie Hall

    Hi Beauty! Please contact the employer and report this to MERSETA.

  5. Beauty

    I was doing a learnership that was terminated by merseta, but now the problem is that i am still on their database and I want them to remove me so i can apply for other learnerships since they terminated the previous one

  6. Leonie Hall

    Hi Livia, absolutely not. You don’t pay. What you should do is write an appreciative resignation letter (we’ll write one for you to use if you like) and politely explain the situation.
    You will still be credited for the courses you have completed and could even request if you can complete the learnership remotely.
    Please don’t just disappear. End it in a professional manner that shows you have healthy self-esteem (self-confidence) and can do what is required of you. In this way they will try to help you. If you want to break it off on purpose, still follow the same steps as you must avoid burning bridges to fresh opportunities.
    Again, don’t just drop off if you want to be selected for future programmes somewhere else. If you resign correctly, you will have documentation to show for it and you will be trusted elsewhere.
    If you’re labelled a ‘drop out’ it’s no good ok!
    Keep Climbing!!!!

  7. Livia

    I am on a SETA Merchandising NQF level 3 learnership. If I am 5 months in and cannot complete the contract because we are moving too far away do I need to pay the money back that SETA pays us monthly for the learnership or can I simply “drop out”?

  8. Leonie Hall

    That sounds weird and very wrong Koketso! Have you heard back from them yet?
    Which SETA was the learnership with?

  9. Koketso Alocate Mohlala

    My name is koketso i was part of learnships programme were many illegal thinsg firstly we signed the contract they never give a copy secondly we never recieved any stipend .they terminated our contract without knowledge.i was part of programme called child and youth care we only attend for five months

  10. Phakamani

    Hey I’m phakamani I was in a internship on a shop and i haven’t completed it so i want to terminate my contract. I want to ask that can i do another learnership while they haven’t terminated or they just terminate few days back and it SASSATA This one and the other one was SETA???

  11. Amanda

    Hi there

    I’d like to know the process of reporting someone registered for more than one learnership

  12. Siphe Sakasa

    Hello I would like to know what happens if a learner completes successfully their learnership before the stipulated time? Are they entitled to the rest of their stipend for the duration of the contract period?

  13. LEO

    Hi please assist I was in a learnership programme with one of retail companies which takes 24months to complete learnership but I only worked for 4months with only one training provided by SETA and then I got a new permanent job in a different sector. I signed a contract with this retail company which stipulates that if you in any case terminates they contract before end date then you owe this company an amount of 25000 my concern is that they don’t explain this part clearly. I submitted a resignation letter instead of just dropping out. why do we owe such big amounts whereas learnership focuses more on giving an opportunity to unemployed graduates or people? as I write I received a telephone call and smses from the company requesting that I should pay them 29000 that I owe to them and my last salary when I resigned was blocked and I was not payed at all, according to them they kept/blockmy salary because I still owe them

  14. khanyisani

    Hi! there my name KB. I am the intern I have question based on services seta payment. Does SSETA failed to pay back the monthly stipends while they had missed to pay for that particular month

  15. Zintle

    Hi! I am currently on a learnership on which the is no learning we are only working as normal employees. We once enquire but they said we were supposed to Be permanent but the company does not have money and each day we are expected to wear formal clothes which we can not afford. It is really killing our self esteem and no one seems to care we only met once with our manager ever since then he does not want to meat us we do not know what he is running from. We do not have access to the system we sit the whole day doing reception duties nothing else. And lastly we were told we wont be getting an certificates when the learnership ends because we are not learners we feel exploited.

  16. Leonie Hall

    Unfortunately I cannot assist if information is withheld. Please complete the complaints form.

  17. Johanna

    Hi I was on a learnership at a certain company at first they didn’t allow us to read the the contract of a learnership,they asked us to sign.secondly they asked to put me in a permanent position before I could finish my learnership and I denied that because I wanted to finish the learnership so that I could get a certificate.well they allowed me to finish. Well i have completed my learnership program and I am still in the company I ddnt resign I asked them to put me in a permanent position since am not willing to resign or to drop my email was not responded .the said thing is date of termination of learnership has passed but am still in the company earning the amount I used to get on my learnership contract ,another thing is I don’t get paid for working Sundays and even today I didn’t get a certificate. I don’t know what to do because some of the people who were participating in a learnership they already left without their certificate. Can you please tell me what to do >>>>>>

  18. Tshepo

    Please help me, I once completed a learnership in 2016, so my question is will it be possible for me to get into a different learnership again this year?

Tell us what's up!