The Sector Education and Training Authority, more commonly known as SETA, was established in 2005 with the aim of implementing the National Skills Development Strategy plan. This skills development strategy is meant to assist in stabilising the South African economy by giving South Africans the opportunity to learn valuable skills and find meaningful employment. One of the most effective methods of doing this is through the use of learnerships.
What is a learnership?
Learnerships are structured learning programmes which involve gaining both theoretical and practical knowledge and experience in the workplace. This process takes place over a period of at least 12 months and concludes with the participant receiving an occupational related qualification registered on the NQF (National Qualifications Framework).
Whereas most tertiary qualifications are based on theoretical learning, often with no real experience, learnerships incorporate both experiential and theoretical learning. The learner learns about the work while on the job, gain practical experience, while also gaining from theoretical components which lead to a recognisable qualification, as mentioned. This means that learners gain knowledge, experience and increased employability which can assist in alleviating the issue of an unskilled, unemployed population sector.
B-BBEE scorecard points
Even though Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) is not compulsory, B-BBEE is an important part of business in South Africa. Companies are scored based on their compliance, and a good B-BBEE compliance level can be a great advantage in business.
Companies can earn maximum Skills Development points if they spend the required percentage of their annual payroll on training initiatives as per their business category. The B-BBEE Code’s Learning Programme Matrix sets a number of areas where skills development training programmes are possible such as Learnerships and Internships.
By utilizing learnership tax rebates, businesses will not only obtain full points on the Skill Development element, but the implementation can also be done in a cost-effective way.
Tax rebate on a learnership
A further benefit for companies that participate in SETA-accredited training initiatives such as learnerships is the tax rebate on learnerships of NQF level 1-6. As of the 1st of October 2016, the tax rebate on a learnership is R40 000 at enrolment, and a further R40 000 on completion. That is a total tax rebate of R80 000. To learn more about SETA learnerships that can benefit your business it is better to consult with a professional in business legal compliance for professional advice.