The learnership system was introduced to accelerate qualifications so that people could qualify within 12 to 18 months. A learnership is a learning route towards achieving a nationally recognised qualification. It is a structured learning experience which is a combination of theoretical learning provided by a training institution and practical workplace experience gained with an employer and is directed towards the achievement of a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) registered qualification. The key principle of a learnership is basically the same as an apprenticeship with the biggest difference being the intensity of training and the tight control over the training delivered on a learnership.
Learnerships form the cornerstone of the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS), which sees vigorous skills training through Learnerships as the central tool for addressing the current skills deficit in South Africa. A Learnership is a tool for aligning education and training initiatives more closely with labour market needs, in order to equip learners with the competence required in the workplace. Learnerships are designed to promote the transfer of learning to the workplace. Learners in a Learnership are actively involved in the learning process and this gives them the opportunity to apply the concepts they have learnt in the real world of work.
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