Skills Development and Learnerships

Unemployment in South Africa remains the biggest challenge to society with an average unemployment rate of 27% currently. Business and Government need to relieve this situation by creating jobs and implementing skills development and training solutions as thoroughly as possible.

The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) legislation amendments place more emphasis on skills development and on business owners to broaden the impact of their skills development. The focus has been moved to accredited qualifications. Skills Development has been increased to 25 points from 15 points. To facilitate this process, businesses must utilise a Learnership Program.

Learnerships are structured programmes combining theoretical knowledge with industry-specific workplace experience leading to a qualification registered on the National Qualification framework (NQF). It follows a recipe where learners acquire knowledge through training and apply their skills in a natural work environment. The business owner/employer signs a learnership agreement with candidates and finances their programmes while registering with the relevant Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA).


1. Learners demonstrate competence as reflected by their qualifications.
2. Learnerships may result in a quadruple scoring on the Generic BEE Scorecard.
3. Multi-skilling of Leaners.
4. Effective application of skills gained.
5. Employers who implement learnerships qualify for tax rebates as additional expenses for learnerships will reduce the taxable income as explained below (one example).

Tax Allowance / Tax Rebate:

The applicable amount can be added as an additional expense to the company, reducing its taxable income.

1. R80 000 Tax Rebate for NQF 1-6 learnerships.
2. R40 000 Annual Allowance. Your company qualifies for this allowance upon registration of each learnership. It is calculated pro-rata (e.g. if the learner withdraws after 6 months, you only qualify for R20 000).
3. R40 000 for a Completion Allowance. Your company qualifies for this additional rebate upon successful completion of each learnership.


BEERSA Flyer – 14 May 2018 – Skills Development and Learnerships (pdf)

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