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Can SA Learnership Results Help Other Countries Now?

What lessons can other countries learn from our learnership results?

Can South Africa’s Learnership Results Impact Youth Unemployment in Africa?

A summary of the conclusion for the research paper “The Success of Learnerships? Lessons from South Africa’s Training and Education Programme.”

do learnerships succeed: learnership results

The paper states that Africa can expect a rise in youth unemployment. The researchers say it’s due to a mismatch between job creation rates and the increasing number of young people entering the job market. Because South Africa is already experiencing high rates of youth unemployment, our policies are a potential model for the continent. We ended part one with a positive apprenticeship example in Ghana, check it out at this link if you haven’t done so already.

Skills Gap as a Barrier for Youth Employment:

Two key points from the study:

  1. Many young people may remain unemployed due to a lack of practical skills and work experience required for jobs.
  2. Uncertainty about the productivity of youth can result in wage rigidity and also contribute to unemployment.

An example of wage rigidity is when wages are kept higher than what market conditions might dictate. This then contributes to unemployment as employers may be less willing to hire at relatively higher wages. Especially for individuals with less proven experience or a track record.

wage floor why some jobs pay more
do learnerships succeed?

Do Our Learnership Results Frame a Reliable Intervention Proposal for Other Countries?

The study finds that we need to address the skills gap and market failure. Therefore researchers recommend a combination of class-based learning, practical training, and work experience. It also says that programs similar to the TVET programs in central Europe, like South Africa’s learnership program, could be effective.

Challenges in Learnership Programs:

  1. Learnership programs may exclude individuals with lower education levels despite the aim to benefit them.
  2. Completion of learnerships increases the likelihood of employment, but the advantage diminishes over time.
how do learnerships help unemployed youth article

Problems in Funding and Distribution Impact Learnership Results:

  1. Learnerships are funded through a regressive payroll tax, which can disadvantage smaller firms.
  2. Costs and benefits of the program disproportionately affect larger firms and higher-skilled workers. Therefore undermining the goal of job creation for the less privileged.

Lessons in Learnership Results for African Countries:

The research emphasizes how funding matters but that a payroll tax may be distortionary. They therefore suggest alternative funding methods like general taxes or tax incentives to improve learnership results.

about yeti - youth employment tax incentive


Programs may be subject to institutional capture by larger firms and skilled workers, potentially hindering broad benefits.
So interventions like learnerships alone may not create a significant number of new jobs. This emphasizes the need for a more comprehensive approach to address youth unemployment in African economies.

Reference: Read the Paper For Detailed Learnership Results

“The Success of Learnerships? Lessons from South Africa’s Training and Education Programme” by Neil Rankin, Gareth Roberts, and Volker Schöer. Share your take with us! Drop a comment below or on our social media pages.

Paper Structure:

The paper is organized like a story. It talks about:

We’ve summarised each section at the links listed above.

companies offering learnerships: learnership results

Do You Want to Apply for Learnerships in South Africa?

Learnership Results Aren’t Bad For Unemployed Youth

Read our post on how to easily register and apply for SETA learnerships right now.

Is Your Learnership CV Ready?

Check your learnership CV here.

Do You Want Help Writing Your CV and Cover Letter?

Now that you know some youth enjoy excellent learnership results, is it time for you to apply?

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