What is a learnership?

A learnership is a work-based route of achieving a qualification.  Learnerships were developed to address skills needs that exist in the red meat industry and help us meet the skill shortages that our industry faces.  It is a combination of structured work-place exposure (how), and theory learning (why), and culminates in a qualification that has been registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).  Learners enrolling on a learnership will have the opportunity to become knowledgeable and skilled workers, which can be employed in the sector.  The success of a learnership is based on achieving competency in its outcomes.  Assessments are done throughout the duration of the learnership to determine practical use of the skills that have been taught.  Successful candidates will achieve a nationally recognised qualification that signals occupational competence.  In this way we acknowledge and enhance the skills of the current work force, and ensure that new entrants to the labour market are adequately trained.

Learnerships are based on legally binding agreements between an employer, a learner and a training provider.  This agreement spells 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.

How were these learnerships and qualifications developed?

A Standards Generating Body (SGB), established within Agriculture and Nature Conservation (NSB 01), established a workgroup consisting of subject matter experts and representatives of the various sectors.  The workgroup generated unit standards and qualifications.  Line staff was involved for inputs and verification of developments.  Regular meetings were held and updates were given regarding progress as well as process obstacles, which were then resolved through SETA involvement.  Comparisons were done against international unit standards and qualifications.  Best practice points were highlighted and used.  It was acknowledged that other bodies, local, provincial, and private, also have an interest in the industry and therefore, the programme was designed to cater for their needs as well.  Draft documentation was discussed at a broad consultative forum by means of the Coordinating Committee for Abattoir Training and the following additional organisations:

  • National Department of Agriculture
  • Technikon Pretoria
  • Provincial Government (Veterinary public health)
  • Abattoirs throughout South Africa
  • Red meat SSU
  • Employers and employee representatives (FAWU, NAHAWU)
  • AGRISETA (Previously SETASA)

The principles of democratic participation, transparency, and credibility were applied throughout the development and the processes of broad and narrow consultation were used to ensure quality.  The contributions of the subject matter experts and line staff proved to be invaluable to the quality of the qualifications.

What qualifications and learnerships were developed for the red meat industry?

The following qualifications have been developed:

  • National Certificate in General Abattoir Processes – SAQA ID 48655
  • Further Education and Training Certificate in Meat Examination – SAQA ID 48649

In order to obtain one the above-mentioned qualifications the learner has to participate in a relevant registered Learnership

  • National Certificate in General Abattoir Processes – Learnership Registration Number: 22Q 220045 27 125 2
  • Further Education and Training Certificate in Meat Examination – Learnership Registration Number: 30Q 300029 23 160 4

What are the benefits?

The Employer

Firstly it is a way to get more skilled people.  Skilled workers make better workers as they:

Are more likely to do the correct thing the first time and make fewer mistakes

Are more likely to ‘get the best’ out of their equipment

Tend to be more independent workers

Are more motivated because they know why what they are doing is important to the overall business and might also be less likely to leave their jobs

Secondly, registering learners entitles you to a tax credit (up toR17000 per an employed learner and up to R25000 per unemployed learner) and an additional credit (up to R25000 per learner) on successful completion of the learnership.

Furthermore, if you give an unemployed learner the opportunity to participate on the learnership, the SETA will pay that unemployed learners an allowance of R150 (Seta Regulated) per week and you will have the choice to offer employment to successful candidates by the end of the learnership.

The Learners

There are a number of benefits for the learners (employed or unemployed):

  • Undergoes training at no cost to him/herself
  • Receive a nationally recognised qualification
  • Opens doors for career opportunities

An unemployed learner is entitled to a learner allowance of R150 (SETA Regulated) per week.  Please note that an unemployed learner is NOT guaranteed a job at the end of the learnership.

How do I claim the tax incentive?

In order to claim the tax incentive, you will need to complete a declaration for the purpose of claiming a deduction for an allowance in respect of a learnership agreement.  The official document is available on the SARS website.

Who will train my workers?

Only accredited training providers are used to offer the learnerships.  The learnerships have been registered with the Department of Labour and has been allocated Learnership Registration Numbers.  AST, an accredited training provider with AgriSETA, has decided to present the learnerships in association with external contractors who will present fundamental unit standards while training officials of the RMAA and AST will present the technical unit standards.  Only registered assessors will be used to assess the learner’s competence.

When, where and for how long will the training take place?

Learnerships have a duration of 1 year.  Commencement dates of learnerships are dependent on the allocation date from AgriSETA.  However, learnerships usually commence in April/May of each year.  The training is a combination of structured work-place-, theory learning.  The training includes the fundamental unit standards as well as core (technical) unit standards, which will be presented by the RMAA and AST.  Depending on the number of learners, the training could be conducted at your at your facility or alternatively at a central venue, in combination with other groups.  Training will proceed according to a rollout schedule.  The roll-out schedule is compiled in consultation with all role-players.