Do you want to know how to get a learner stipend? A learner stipend is a type of financial assistance that helps learners cover the costs associated with their training.
Get A Learner Stipend: Why are Stipends Issued?
Stipends are given to cover expenses such as tuition, books, transportation, accommodation, and other related costs. The stipend is usually awarded based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of both. The amount of the stipend can vary, but it is generally intended to provide enough support to help learners focus on their studies and training without having to worry about financial stress. Some stipends are provided by the government, while others may be offered by private organizations, foundations, or educational institutions.
Stipends for Learnerships and Apprenticeships in South Africa: Get A Learner Stipend
These are occupational training programmes that combine work and learning.
Get A Learner Stipend for Learnerships and Apprenticeships
Stipends are somewhat controversial as many learners feel exploited in business environments. The Department of Labour and Employment has established minimum rates for learners using time and completion of credits as descriptors. Stipends are automatically granted for unemployed learners placed on learnerships, no separate applications or means tests apply. (A means test is what a funder does to establish your need.)
- Learnerships are pretty AWESOME…they cover pretty much every industry. You learn and earn, meaning while you’re being trained on a recognized industry qualification, you need to work. That’s the trade-off.
- A company gains BEE points and tax rebates for hosting you for the duration of the learnership. Although many companies can apply for funding to pay for the training, most companies pay and then go through a process of claims.
- The company may or may not employ you when your learnership ends and they are not required to pay you a stipend that is the equivalent of a salary as you are there to learn and gain experience.
- If they don’t employ you, the qualification and certificate of employment you obtain will increase your job opportunities.
- Employers pay you the stipend directly although some employers claim they are awaiting SETA funds for you – it’s illegal and they should be reported to the SETA and DHET immediately followed by a complaint at the CCMA.
We’ve posted a detailed article expanding on apprenticeships and the pay you can earn as a qualified apprentice. Read our in-depth apprenticeship article.
Always have someone with experience check your contracts or you can end up signing something unlawful.
How Much are Stipends?
See the Department of Labour’s stipend rates table as the amounts are scaled according to the NQF level and the credits you complete. These are the minimum standards but a company can pay you as much as they like. Negotiate for more.
It’s not a good idea to hop from one learnership to the next for a better stipend. You could find yourself barred from the National Learner Database system if an employer has failed to report that you are no longer on their learnership. If they fail to report your departure correctly and you fail to follow the correct resignation procedures, you won’t be able to register for another learnership elsewhere until this is corrected.
Must Learners Repay Stipends if they Resign?
Never f’ing EVER.
Employers such as PSG Wealth made illegal claims which we managed to stop. No employer may ask you to repay money related to the learnership even if you leave or they terminate you. If ever an employer threatens to legally force you to pay, you can sue them for much more than what they want to sue you! So let them try!!!
For more info on Rules for Resigning and Registering for Learnerships click the link!
The criteria to Get A Learner Stipend
- You automatically qualify for a stipend on a registered learnership and apprenticeship.
- You need to be South African and of employable age to receive a stipend.
- Private organisations and sponsors have their own criteria which you can research on their websites.
Examples of Other Stipend Sources
There are several channels that South African youth can apply to for stipends to support their studies. Some of these channels include:
- Non-profit organizations: There are several non-profit organizations that offer stipends and scholarships to students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Examples include the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), and The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.
- Private companies: Some private companies offer bursaries and scholarships to students who are studying in fields related to their business. Examples of such companies include Sasol, Anglo American, and Vodacom.
- Educational institutions: Many educational institutions offer scholarships and bursaries to their students. These scholarships and bursaries are often based on academic merit, financial need, or a combination of both.
To apply for these stipends, students should first research the organizations or companies that offer them. They must identify those that match their needs and qualifications. They should then check the application requirements and deadlines for each of these organizations and prepare their application materials accordingly.
For Urgent Funding Needs: Get A Learner Stipend
This bit is for learners who may face additional barriers in applying for stipends. If you totally lack the funds and resources to study for an occupation, you need to execute a battle plan immediately.
We use the term ‘marginalised’ to describe poverty situations. If you go home to an informal settlement that has no electricity or water, your life is harder than others who have this access. Perhaps you are the only person you can count on to help your future move in the right direction. If so, then you need to submit persuasive funding applications early.
Here are some (battle plan) application tips to Get A Learner Stipend
- Start early, before others: Begin researching stipend opportunities well in advance of application deadlines. This allows for ample time to gather all necessary application materials.
- Seek assistance: Reach out to organizations or institutions that provide support to marginalized learners. Approach student support services or educational advocacy organizations, for guidance and assistance in navigating the application process.
- Highlight strengths: Emphasize any unique strengths or experiences that set you apart from other applicants. Use examples such as overcoming adversity or demonstrating leadership in your community.
- Be thorough: Ensure that your application is complete and includes all necessary supporting documentation, such as transcripts or reference letters.
- Follow up: After submitting your application, follow up to confirm receipt and inquire about the status of your application. This shows your eagerness and interest in the opportunity.
We love signing off with a resource! Here’s your stipend motivation letter template.
This customizable motivation letter template is for a youth applying for a stipend to support their studies. The letter is meant to serve as a guide. Applicants should customize it based on their personal experiences and motivations.
Motivation Letter to Get A Learner Stipend
[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, Province] [Postal Code] [Date]
[Recipient’s Name] [Organization’s Name] [Address] [City, Province] [Postal Code]
Dear [Recipient’s Name],
I am writing to express my interest in applying for [stipend/scholarship] offered by [Organization’s Name]. As a [description of personal background and current situation], I am faced with financial challenges that hinder my ability to pursue my academic goals.
I am currently enrolled in [Name of the Institution] pursuing a degree in [Major or Field of Study]. My passion for [Major/Field of Study] stems from [Reasons for Choosing the Field] and my desire to contribute to [Goals for the Future]. However, due to [Personal Financial Circumstances], I am struggling to finance my education.
I am confident that I have the academic ability to excel in my studies, as evidenced by [Academic Achievements or Relevant Experience]. However, my financial constraints have prevented me from achieving my full potential. Therefore, I am seeking support through this stipend to help me overcome these challenges and enable me to focus on my academic pursuits.
I am particularly drawn to [Organization’s Name] because of [Reasons for Interest in the Organization, e.g., values, mission, programs, impact]. I believe that the values and goals of [Organization’s Name] align with my personal aspirations and will provide me with the necessary support to achieve my academic goals.
In conclusion, I am excited about the opportunity to apply for the [stipend/scholarship] offered by [Organization’s Name], and I believe that I am a strong candidate for this opportunity. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your consideration.
Tips for customizing the stipend motivation: Get A Learner Stipend
- Personalize the opening: Address the recipient by name and ensure that the organization’s name and address are correct.
- Introduce yourself: Provide some background information about yourself, including your current situation and why you need financial support.
- Explain your academic pursuits: Describe your academic goals and how this scholarship will help you achieve them.
- Highlight your achievements: Discuss your academic or extracurricular achievements that demonstrate your potential for success.
- To show your interest in the organization: Explain why you are interested in the organization offering the stipend. Also describe common values and goals.
- Close on a positive note: Express gratitude for the opportunity to apply and convey your excitement about the potential opportunity.
We Hope You Get A Learner Stipend!
Finally, remember to customize the letter to your personal experiences and motivations. Avoid copying the letter as it is. If you just copy, it could come across as insincere and may hurt your chances of receiving the stipend.