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Currently, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment is the main driving force behind learnerships. Unfortunately, in many cases this means that little consideration is given to the Return on Investment for the employer – or the relevance to the learners’ need.
Here are the ten important issues that employers should attend to when planning to implement a learnership.
- Make sure that the decision to implement learnerships is derived from and linked to the organisation’s goals and objectives, which should include staff development and providing learning opportunities for unemployed learners – in addition to the objectives in terms of B-BBEE.
- Make sure that there is internal capacity in the organisation to manage the implementation of the learnership, including someone to coordinate the process and others to guide and support the learners during the workplace learning part of the learnership.
- Make sure that you have internal buy-in for the learnership, especially from line managers and the supervisors of the business units where the learners will be placed.
- Select the learnership that will contribute towards achieving the organisation’s goals. It is advisable to select a learnership that falls within the scope of the SETA to which the employer pays the skills levy – it simplifies the implementation process significantly.
- Make sure that the qualification is registered with SAQA, i.e. that it has not been re-registered or replaced by another qualification. Also, make sure that the learnership is registered with the SETA and that it is still ‘active’.
- If you plan to apply for Discretionary Grants from the SETA, make sure that the SETA will funds the learnership.
- Select a training provider that meets the required accreditation requirements AND has experience in implementing learnerships. This is crucial if it is the employer’s first experience with learnerships.
- Develop an implementation plan with the training provider that clarifies who does what when, where and with what resources.
- Agree on the profile of the learners to be selected and the selection criteria to be used to ensure that learners meet the basic requirements for entering the learnership. DON’T pick learners randomly without considering whether they will be able to cope with the level of the qualification.
- Obtain the necessary approval from the SETA in accordance with the specific SETA’s requirements. Note that most SETAs will require you to have completed other steps before granting the approval.
At this stage, you should have done most of what should be covered during the initial planning phase, before moving to the actual implementation in partnership with the training provider. Refer to the attachment if you need more guidelines.