You've probably thought about life after matric, right? Whether or not you are deciding to further your studies, gaining some industry-related experience is always a huge plus. Both learnerships and apprenticeships offer huge benefits, but which is best for your path?

A learnership is a training programme for employees of a company who have a matric as their highest qualification. Upon completion, an employee receives an accredited qualification and certificate. For a learnership, an employee will spend 30% of their time attending classes at a college or training centre to learn theory, while the rest of the time is spent on the job, training.

Apprenticeships are different from learnerships in that they are job-oriented and not career-oriented. This means that if you participate in an apprenticeship, you will learn a specific trade like engineering or hairdressing; unlike a learnership, which offers general overall training in a particular career field.

How do they both work?

To become an apprentice, you have to be at least 15 years of age, and have to meet specific requirements including medical health and physical fitness, which are relevant to the particular trade. Most apprenticeships require you to have some knowledge in subjects like Mathematics, Science, Technical Terminology or Drawing, at a Grade 10 level, at least.

For a learnership, you have to be between the ages of 16 - 35 to apply. Some learnerships and skills programmes do accept those with an education below matric (NQF 4) level. Therefore, you do not always need a matric. Other learnerships, however, might require a matric, or specific subjects like Maths or Computer Literacy. To be accepted for a learnership, you are often required to do an assessment test.

The benefits of either:

  • For a learnership, you will be paid a stipend to help cover daily costs such as transport, meals, and sometimes accommodation

  • The company or employer that provides you with the learnership also pays for your studies

  • After completing a learnership, you will receive a minimum of 120 credits on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and a nationally recognised certificate

  • As an apprentice, you will receive a stipend for the hours that you work for your employer

  • The benefits of both are that you receive an opportunity to work while you study. You get a qualification and work experience at the same time

  • After completing either of these training programmes, you will not only gain work experience in the specific industry you’re wanting to go into, but you will have a clear understanding of the job you’re working towards.

If you would like to find out more about a learnership and apprenticeship, and where to apply for both these training programmes, click here.