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How Low is Learner Pay? The Learnership Stipend Now

Learner pay is referred to as a ‘stipend.’ Low stipends for unemployed youth on job training programs can have significant negative consequences. Low learner pay can undermine their ability to participate effectively and succeed in the long term.

Learner Pay: What is a Learnership Stipend?

learner pay stipend

Learnerships are training interventions that target predominantly Black youth. Learnerships attract youth to sectors or specific jobs where skills and knowledge are most required.

Learner pay is called a stipend AKA a poverty trap.

It is important for our government, employers, and training organizations to provide adequate financial support in the form of stipends, to youth. Adequate stipends help them succeed and reach their full potential.

An adequate stipend allows the learner to live independently. If the stipend is too low, the pay immediately traps youth in poverty if they do not have a family supporting them.

learner pay issues

The Department of Labour establishes minimum Learner pay

Companies can pay more than the minimum levels and can claim back all money paid to learners! Most don’t pay more than R2 500 per month.

 The legislation sets minimum levels. Employers determine the final amount or maximum. They can pay you as MUCH as they choose or can afford.

How do you think learner stipends should be calculated?

Just as salaries range from employer to employer and from sector to sector – so do stipends. Understand how to negotiate during an interview in order to push for more.

Some learners earn the bare minimum because they accepted it and couldn’t or didn’t negotiate a rate based on their real expenses. These learners either have to leave the programme or accept what they signed up for and be professional about it.

Stipend for Learners with disabilities

It’s fantastic to point out that there is special provision for learners with disabilities. Employers who hire these candidates must accommodate them so all their needs are met. If someone is wheelchair-bound, the company must ensure they have full access to amenities and are comfortable in the workplace areas they must operate in.

Disabled learners receive additional allowances for assistance such as for transport as they may not be able to use conventional public transport.In return, the employer receives more tax rebates.

Current Learnership Stipends: Minimum Pay

Minimum wage with effect from March 1, 2023 Minimum wage with effect till February 29, 2024

  • Valid 29 February 2024
  • Minimum wage with effect from March 1, 2023

Employers must not pay learners less than shown in the following table:

Stipend According to NQF LevelWeekly
NQF Level 1 to 2 – Credits earned 1-120Per month, as calculated by Mywage.co.za ZAR1,656.44 ZAR382.55
NQF Level 1 to 2 – Credits earned 121-240Per month, as calculated by Mywage.co.za ZAR3,312.71ZAR765.06
NQF Level 3 – Credits earned 1-120Per month, as calculated by Mywage.co.za ZAR1,656.44ZAR382.55
NQF Level 3 – Credits earned 121-240Per month, as calculated by Mywage.co.za ZAR3,119.72ZAR720.49
NQF Level 3 – Credits earned 241-360Per month, as calculated by Mywage.co.za ZAR4,674.24ZAR1,079.50
NQF Level 4 – Credits earned 1-120Per month, as calculated by Mywage.co.za ZAR1,656.44ZAR382.55
NQF Level 4 – Credits earned 121-240Per month, as calculated by Mywage.co.za ZAR3,313.01ZAR765.13
NQF Level 4 – Credits earned 241-360Per month, as calculated by Mywage.co.za ZAR4,674.24ZAR1,079.50
NQF Level 4 – Credits earned 361-480Per month, as calculated by Mywage.co.za ZAR7,453.71ZAR1,721.41
NQF Level 5 to 8 – Credits earned 1-120Per month, as calculated by Mywage.co.za ZAR1,656.44ZAR382.55
NQF Level 5 to 8 – Credits earned 121-240Per month, as calculated by Mywage.co.za ZAR3,588.70ZAR828.80
NQF Level 5 to 8 – Credits earned 241-360Per month, as calculated by Mywage.co.za ZAR5,369.46ZAR1,240.06
NQF Level 5 to 8 – Credits earned 361-480Per month, as calculated by Mywage.co.za ZAR7,564.34ZAR1,746.96
NQF Level 5 to 8 – Credits earned 481-600Per month, as calculated by Mywage.co.za ZAR9,662.22ZAR2,231.46
learner pay raise

LEARNER PAY DEFINITIONS

  • South Africa has a government-mandated minimum wage. No worker in South Africa can be paid less than this mandatory minimum rate of pay. The national minimum wage only exempts three categories:
    • domestic workers, farm workers and expanded public works.
  • Employers in South Africa who fail to pay the Minimum Wage may be subject to punishment by the government of South Africa.
  • Wages per month are calculated as 4.33 times if a weekly wage is defined.
  • It is calculated as 4.33 times the standard hours per week if an hourly wage is given.

Employers must pay learners not later than 7 days after 

  • completing a period of work; or
  • terminating their learnership.

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learnership stipend rules regulations

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Send us your employment or learnership contracts. This can help stop continued exploitation and reduction of rights.

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 One Comment

  1. Anele Sbonile

    It is not fair that others who got this learnership on 2019 they got a form to claim their money bt others they don’t respond to them if they want their forms

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