The unemployment rate among young people aged 15–34 was 38,2%, implying that more than one in every three young people in the labour force did not have a job in the first quarter of 2018. In this same reporting period, 32.4% (approximately 3,3 million youths) were not in employment, education or training.

It is clear from the above-mentioned statistics that millions of young people are excluded from participating in the economy actively and two of the biggest problems facing youth employment is the fact that they do not possess the required skills to be employed and, secondly, that they lack the experience so sought after by employers.

Government, in their Draft National Youth Policy 2020, sets out a number of goals and commitments to advance youth development including learnerships and internships focused on raising the skills capacity of young people through Sector Education and Training Authorities.

A learnership is a work-based learning programme that leads to an NQF-registered qualification. Learnerships are directly related to an occupation or field of work. The ultimate requirement of a learnership  is a combination of both a formal qualification and workplace experience.

There are countless benefits for your company to institute learnerships:

  • One of the most obvious is that you company is enriched by either scarce or critical skills. These are identified by your SETA in their Sector Skills Plan. Ultimately, your company will have an economic advantage over your competitors as a result or at least the benefit of cultivating the necessary skills required for your industry.
  • The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has incentivised employers to introduce learnerships in their companies. Specifically, Section 12H of the Income Tax Act allows employers to claim between R20 000 and R40 000 when you start a learnership in your company. When the learnership is successfully completed, another allowance (between R20 000 and R40 000) may be claimed. However, the latter may only be claimed if the qualification is passed.
  • In addition to the Learnership Tax Incentive mentioned above, the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) is another mechanism which seeks to encourage employers to hire young work seekers. tHE ETI can be claimed by employers, monthly, for employees who they take on between the ages of 18 and 29. Employees who qualify must have been hired on or after 1 October 2013. If the ETI claim is successful, employers will receive a deduction on their Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) for each qualifying employee whilst leaving the wage received by the employee unaffected.

How would I register a learnership?

Once you have identified the scare or critical skills that you need in your company, the next step is to plan your learnership thoroughly. In other words, you need to plan what qualification you are going to offer as part of your learnership, who you are going to choose as a training provider and sign all the necessary agreements with these providers. After this, you will need to register the learnership with the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) that your company belongs to.

At Global Business Solutions, we are well poised to assist and advise you regarding your skills development needs. Please do not hesitate to contact me on [email protected] should you require any assistance.

Kind regards


Menet Hamel

Menet Hamel can help you institute a learnership in your company.