The prospect of getting practical on-the-job training in a learnership is an appealing one. Being able to pay for expensive academic tertiary education is out of reach for many South Africans, but with a learnership you can work in your chosen field and get a mix of formal and informal training, with plenty of real-world experience.
Formal learnerships are underscored by the NQF (The National Qualifications Authority) and will result in you being registered for a full qualification, provided you score well in SETA tests. These tests regulate the vocational skills of learners and ensure that graduates are equipped with the know-how to succeed in their chosen field.
Step One: Decide on a field
There are learnerships in almost every industry. You can find jobs in both private and government sectors, in more or less skilled areas and with jobs that range from banking to agriculture to tourism. Your specific qualification will have different entry requirements and duration.
Step Two: Search for companies in your chosen field
Large organizations will frequently have a need for young and hard working interns, and several have yearly bursary funds for promising students, too. But since the needs of these companies come and go, you’ll need to regularly enquire about what opportunities there are.
Application criteria are different for each position, and most have a deadline to send in your CV, intro letter and any relevant documents. Start your search on any of the many learnership search engines, for example Tshwaneline, which has and updated and extensive list of learnerships: http://www.tshwaneline.co.za/
Also try http://learnershipsa.com/ or http://puffandpass.co.za/, which has some interesting postings and of course, Joblife’s own list of internships/learnerships, http://www.joblife.co.za/job-type/internship/.
Step Three: Apply
Make sure you clearly understand what the learnership will be paying you, what your responsibilities will be, how long the course is and what qualification you can expect to earn when it’s over.
If you can realistically commit to the programme, your next step is to make sure you put together a compelling application. Chat to the relevant authorities to find out what you need to submit. Usually, a Matric certificate or similar is required, as well as a CV and anything else you believe will convince your employees that you’re the apprentice they want.
When done correctly, a learnership is an incredibly opportunity to expand your skillset and learn a trade or service that will support you for many years to come. The end of the year is a perfect time to start planning your career, just remember to take your time and make sure to choose something that fits well with your goals and abilities.