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Learnerships key to combating youth unemployment

With 50.9% of the country's youth unemployed, more focus should be placed on how youth can enter the job market without a formal tertiary qualification to contribute positively to the country's economy.
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Richard Rayne, CEO of learning solutions provider iLearn, says it’s well-known that the country’s youth struggle to enter the job market as a result of low levels of education and lack of work experience. But he says a Learnership, obtained through an accredited provider could be the answer to addressing the critical skills gap that exists in various industries to help boost the level of employment in the country.

“Alongside unemployment, our country is struggling dismally with a skills shortage and it’s growing by the day. We need a generation to help nurture and develop the skills the trade and industry desperately needs now and in the years to come,” he says.

A Learnership is a vocational and educational programme that links structured learning and work experience in order to obtain a registered qualification. It combines theory and workplace practice into a qualification registered by the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

Benefits to the learner:
  • An opportunity to enter the job market and appeal to current and future employers.
  • Achieve a nationally-recognised qualification;
  • A fixed-term employment contract and generous allowance for the duration of the programme.
Rayne says a Learnership is “absolutely necessary” to reduce the country’s unemployment rate and the “answer” jobless youths have been “desperately searching for”.

“Take charge of your own skills development, be aware of your passion, interests and talents before embarking on this journey so that you can develop yourself in a direction that is meaningful and beneficial,” he says.