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B-BBEE Learning Programmes

The Amended B-BBEE Codes put pressure on companies to implement Learnerships, Internships and Apprenticeships for both employees and the unemployed.

The definitions of these are sometimes different in the B-BBEE Codes and for the Setas so it is important to ensure that you are implementing the right kinds of programmes.

What is a Learnership?

A learnership is a programme which involves both classroom training and workplace experience. The programme will result in a qualification which is registered on the NQF. The learner will need to be registered with the Seta and an accredited training provider will need to be sourced to provide the “classroom” training aspect. Learnerships are usually 12 months in duration but may be longer depending on the qualification.

If you plan on implementing this type of intervention you should always ensure that you are able to accommodate the learner in the qualification they will be completing and this should be in line with your work practices. Remember you will need to assist them in creating their portfolio of evidence and completing any assignments. It is also important to find training providers who are able to assist you with the programmes you require, as finding public training courses for 1 or 2 learners can be problematic.

It is also important to note that the classroom work for learnership programmes do take place during the week and so you will need to ensure that you are able to release current employees from the workplace to attend the required classes in order for them to cover the required theoretical part of the qualification.

What is an Internship?

In terms of the B-BBEE codes an internship is a programme where a learner needs to either complete a workplace experience “module” in order to achieve their qualification or professional registration. This training is mostly completed without a separate training provider but is overseen by a qualified senior employee who is able to report on the tasks and areas of experience gained by the learner during their internship period. The period of an internship varies greatly and can extend for a number of years. Candidacy programmes are classified as internships in the B-BBEE Codes.

If you plan on implementing an internship you will either need to be in a field where you are able to provide relevant workplace experience to students who are busy with their tertiary education or you need to be in an industry where candidacy programmes are available.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a process whereby a qualified artisan provides workplace tuition and experience to a learner over a period of usually 3 years. During the course of the apprenticeship the learner will also need to complete the relevant trade theory (N Levels) in order to be able to apply for and successfully complete the Trade Test at the end of the programme. Once the learner has passed the trade test they are certified as a qualified artisan.

Before embarking on this type of programme you will need to ensure that you have qualified artisans in the employ of the company who can mentor the apprentices. You will also need to contact the relevant Seta who will need to approve the workplace. This is to ensure that you have the necessary resources and tools available for the apprentice. You will also need to consult with providers who can assist with the relevant trade theory to ascertain when the intakes will be and what the requirements are for the learners.

For any queries regarding Skills Development Strategy and Implementation, contact Oriole on 011 346 2422 or

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