What is the difference between learnerships and skill programmes?

By | September 1, 2017

What is the difference between learnerships and skill programmes?



A learnership is a learning route towards achieving a nationally recognised qualification. It is a structured learningexperience which is a combination of theoretical and workplace learning and is directed towards the achievement ofa South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) registered qualification.

The implementation of a learnership is based on a contract signed by the learner, the employer and training providerand is administered by a SETA. Learners in a learnership programme attend classes with regard the theoretical part of the learnership and gain practical experience while placed in the workplace. The duration of learnership programmes varies between 1-3 years, depending on the programme.

A Learnership qualification consists of the following components:

Fundamentals: Basic educational requirements in a leadership – usually life skills, numeracy and literacy orcommunication skills.

Core: The core skills and knowledge required for a particular qualification

Electives: Specialised areas or the application of the core skills and knowledge in defined work situations

Source: www.ETDP-SETA.co.za


A Skills Programme is a learning programme which is occupationally based and for which a learner may obtain acertain number of credits towards a registered qualification. It includes practical (work-place) experience andaddresses the identified needs of a specific industry.

Accredited skills programmes are delivered by an accredited service provider and it is so designed to one or acombination of the following.

Post qualification specialization

Competence in compliance with legislation

Employable skills


Duration: up to 6 months.