A learnership is a training programme that combines theory at a college or training centre with relevant practice on-the-job. There is no learnership if there is no on-the-job practice. The idea is that people really learn the "ins and outs" of an occupation by practising all its aspects under the guidance of an experienced and qualified person. In order to become qualified themselves, learners will have to be assessed against occupational standards that have been agreed in advance by industry stakeholders.
Learnerships are based on legally binding agreements between an employer, a learner and a training provider. This agreement is intended to spell out the tasks and duties of the employer, the learner and the training provider. It is designed to ensure the quality of the training and to protect the interests of each party.
Employers can offer learnerships to their own employees or can recruit unemployed people for training. Current employees who are provided with learnerships are referred to as 18(1) learners. Unemployed people who are offered learnerships are known as 18(2) learners. This brochure explains the difference between these two types of learnership.