Bursaries, internships and learnerships
Choosing a career path can be a difficult decision if you're uncertain about what you see yourself doing in the future. To choose the right career for you, you need to first find out what you like and what you enjoy doing. Then you can decide which careers appeal to you and if your personality matches the career of your choice.
Take some time to do research and consider your options. Read up on career websites and newspapers and consider job shadowing, learnerships, or volunteering in your field of choice before making your final decision.
Perhaps you're thinking about applying for a bursary or an internship but don’t know where to begin. We’ve put some information together on the various options available to help you make the best decision for your future.
If you work hard and achieve good results at school, you can have a bright future with more options. This will help you when you apply for a bursary, learnership or internship.
A bursary is a financial award made by an institution to individuals who can't afford to pay full fees. Bursaries are usually renewed each year, on condition that the student is making satisfactory progress. In terms of national and provincial government, bursaries are allocated based on the needs in a specific province such as engineering, nursing or teaching to name a few. The following bursary opportunities are either a full, partial or work-back bursary.
If you're interested in applying for one of the bursaries listed below, you should contact the government department, university or public entity concerned directly.
Western Cape Government bursaries
- The Masakh’iSizwe Bursary Programme, which is run by the Department of Transport and Public Works, offers bursaries for study towards a degree or higher diploma to develop professionals in engineering and the built environment.
- The Provincial Treasury is advancing our youth by spending R13 million this year on bursaries, internships and its chartered accountant's training academy.
Bursaries are available to Grade 12 learners and post- and undergraduate students interested in pursuing careers in, economics, accounting, finance and auditing.
- Every year the Western Cape Department of Health offers a limited number of bursaries for full-time study for professions in health.
- The Western Cape Department of Agriculture offers full-time undergraduate and postgraduate bursaries. Find out more about these bursaries from Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute.
Western Cape universities
- The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) offers bursaries to both first-year students and returning students. For more information visit the CPUT undergraduate funding page.
- The University of Cape Town (UCT) offers many undergraduate and postgraduate funding options depending on the qualification you want to pursue.
- The University of the Western Cape (UWC) offers various partial and full-time bursaries and loans to students.
- Depending on the qualification you're studying towards, Stellenbosch University offers a number of funding and bursary opportunities for both undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
National Departmental Bursaries
- The National Student Financial Aid Service (NSFAS) provides financial aid to eligible students at public Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and public universities. For example the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) offers Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) bursaries for education and training courses at TVET Colleges across South Africa. Other bursaries are also available, which will vary from college to college.
- The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme offers full-cost bursaries to eligible students, who want to complete a full teaching qualification in an area of national priority. If you receive one of these bursaries you'll be required to teach at a public school for the same number of years that you received the bursary for.
- The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has a comprehensive database of bursary opportunities in higher education available on the NYDA youth portal. The database is searchable by career category and includes information on eligibility criteria, closing dates for applications, contact details and conditions.
- The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) offers bursaries for students intending to study towards a qualification as a chartered accountant at universities accredited by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountant (SAICA). Have a look at AGSA's bursary guide for more information.
- The National Arts Council (NAC) offers individual bursaries at postgraduate level only. Bursaries for undergraduate students are offered through education and training institutions. Read more about the opportunities on offer.
- The National Skills Fund (NSF) bursaries are offered every year to increase the number of skilled workers and to stabilise South Africa's economy. These bursaries are only for candidates to gain their first degree, not for postgraduate studies, and candidates who are doing practical training can also apply. For more information call the Department of Labour at 012 309 4469 / 4340.
Bursaries offered by public entities
- The Transnet Bursary Scheme offers full-time bursaries every year according to the employment needs of the company.
- The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) offers both undergraduate and postgraduate bursaries for studies in science, engineering, research, technology development and innovation.
- The Chevening Scholarships in South Africa offer opportunities and financial support to study for a Master's degree at one of the United Kingdom's leading universities and to become part of an influential and highly regarded global network.
- The Anglo-American Bursary Programme offers bursaries to excellent performers who will be in their second or third year of study.
- The Nedbank Bursary Fund awards bursaries to students who need help to meet the costs associated with studying at higher education institutions full-time.
2. Learnerships on offer in the Western Cape
Learnerships are learning programmes that lead to an occupational qualification. This includes classroom-based learning at the institute and on-the-job training at our research farms. The learnerships available are :
- The Year Beyond programme appeals to local and international volunteers with mathematics, technology and language skills to give a year of their time to tutor primary and secondary school learners in these subjects. Applications for this programme open towards the end of the year.
- The Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) is a government body responsible for organising education and training programmes within a specific sector. There are 21 sectors, and each sector has its own SETA. Find out more.
- The National Youth Service Programme is aimed at unemployed youth in the technical trade industry with no work experience and those in the technical trade industry with work experience but no trade certification.
- The Expanded Public Works Programme focuses on skills development by giving unemployed people (between 16 and 35) access to temporary work.
- The Siyenyuka Contractor Enhancement Programme aims to develop skills and promote business sustainability for emerging contractors in the construction industry.
3. Internships, apprenticeships and artisanships
Internships provide real-world experience to those looking to explore or gain the relevant knowledge and skills required to enter into a particular career field.
- The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) offers various exciting and hands-on internship programmes.
- The 21 Services Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) offer various internship and training programmes within the various sectors. Find out more.
- DST-NRF Internship Programme aims to provide university graduates and postgraduates with work experience in science, engineering and technology in order to improve their chances of finding a job.
- The Western Cape Government also offers internship opportunities, that often turn into job opportunities, at the different departments where students can get hands-on experience and skills.
Apprenticeships provide on-the-job training and are often accompanied by course work.
- College of Cape Town's Mechanical Engineering: Practical Skills Course offer courses to those who wish to further their knowledge in their field of work.
- Through the Bellville Mechanical Workshop Apprenticeship the Department of Transport and Public Works offers a four-year apprenticeship programme to prepare students for the working environment.
Artisanships offer practical training focusing primarily on employable skills training and development.
- Matriculants interested in becoming an artisan (e.g. a motor mechanic, plumber, electrician, etc) can register with the National Artisan Development Support Centre (NADSC).
- The Artisan Training Institute (ATI) offers training services, including pre-evaluation of students' trainability, entrance levels and trade test readiness.
- The Artisans Skills Development Agency (ASDA) is based in Ekhuruleni and aims to provide trainees with sufficient skills, knowledge and aptitudes to carry out their work effectively and efficiently in a competitive and technologically advanced industry.