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Eskom and SAA invest in skills development - here's why you should follow suit and make learnerships your company's top focus this Youth Month

by , 11 June 2013
There have been frequent calls from government to get the private sector more focussed on skills development in the country to help curb the scourge of rising unemployment. And SAA and Eskom are taking note! Recently, both groups ventured into separate areas to enhance skills in their sectors. Here's why it pays to follow suit and set up a learnership programme at your company...

First, SAA announced that 'its cadet pilot development programme is the airline's effort to transform not only its own but also South Africa's flight deck community, which is nowhere close to reflecting national demographics,' reports DefenceWeb.

Now, comes news that power utility provider, Eskom is electrifying students at Vhembe FET College in Thohoyandou, after donating 'state of the art equipment worth about R2 million [to] its electrical engineering centre,' adds The New Age.
Both initiatives serve as a great reminder to companies on how focussing on skills development in South Africa's youth can not only enhance the economy, but benefit your industry too.

And you should be taking note…

Three benefits learnerhips give your company…

Put simply, learnerships are a structured process for gathering theoretical knowledge and practical experience through working. The learner learns both on and off the job to obtain a qualification. He also gains invaluable insight into and experience of an occupation by practising all its aspects under the guidance of an experienced and qualified mentor.

Apart from promoting youth as well as skills development in your industry, there are three things this does for your company in return.

According to The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management , you can use learnerships to:

  • Expand your potential labour pool of employment equity candidates, without committing to an upfront long-term employment contract
  • Assist with points for your BBBEE scorecard
  • Claim a tax rebate from SARS and a grant from your SETA.

But before you set up a learnership programme at your workplace, remember there are six criteria it needs to fulfil, warns FSP Business.

It must:

  1. Consist of a structured learning component;
  2. Include practical work experience;
  3. Be registered through a SETA;
  4. Be governed by a learnership agreement;
  5. Lead to a SAQA NQF registered qualification; and
  6. Relate to an occupation.

If it does, you'll not only make your recruitment process easier, you'll help fill the skills shortage gap prevalent in your industry.

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