Learnerships are work-based education and training programmes that link structured learning to work experience. They help interns and existing employees obtain registered qualifications while working. They can also be perfectly tailored to suit your particular company and industry’s needs.
Consider Learnerships as strategic investments, with the added benefits of tax rebates. It’s a near-foolproof way to grow prospective employees into the perfect match for your company — taking the pain out of the recruitment process. People on-boarded through Learnerships tend to work independently. Meanwhile, existing staff engaged in Learnerships remain stimulated with opportunities for personal and professional development. This improves staff retention and secures access to an increasingly skilled and loyal workforce.
The challenge is finding and running the kind of Learnership that suits you best. This can be overwhelming to implement, because any successful skills development programme is multi-faceted — the process includes ensuring quality content and curriculum delivery, and meeting appropriate accreditation criteria. Outsourcing is often the elegant solution. However, understanding the process is important to ensure you pick the right partner. Here’s what you need to know:
Explore your options and apply for a Learnership grant
In 2012, Bersin & Associates determined that organisations with strong learning cultures regularly outperform their competitors. But how would you get the company on board with the idea of a Learnership programme?
One way is to sketch an outline of what your company offers, in relation to how it operates. Use this to identify operational inefficiencies, or shortages in skills or staff. Then put together a Learnership programme that produces graduates able to address these gaps. If you don’t have the time or skills to do this yourself, you could work with a partner like iLearn. Together you’ll develop and implement an incentivised curriculum that perfectly suits your needs.
The next step is to secure funding. Your options include internal funding or external grants. When pitching your Learnership programme, be sure to include elements in your proposal such as outsourcing considerations, and to demonstrate clearly the expected ROI.
Structure the Learnership to suit your company
For a Learnership programme to work, it must deliver the right content efficiently. Any programme must have a built-in learner support structure consisting of mentors and coaches, who are there to help learners apply their skills and theory in a professional context.
Consider outsourcing the structural development, management and partial delivery of the Learnership. This ensures you don’t end up making the nuts and bolts of instituting a skills-development programme something that adds to your workload. Education specialists like iLearn work with you to identify and recruit relevant industry experts and take the load off by managing the delivery of a pre-accredited curriculum. This ensures the Learnership is of high quality and meets the needs of your company.
Implement and iterate
You’re now ready to roll out the programme. While most Learnerships run for at least 12 months, the exact delivery will depend on your company’s culture and resources. Your options include traditional, instructor-led training, or a Blended Learning model that combines the best of both instructor-led and digital learning. Reviewing the success of each model annually will eventually lead to an optimal company-specific programme that achieves your aims with minimal fuss.
iLearn offers a range of traditional and Blended Learnerships that lead to NQF rated, SETA accredited qualifications. Partnering with education experts takes the sweat out of setting up and running the perfect Learnership programme in your business. Book a free consultation today to discover how you can reap the rewards of a vibrant workplace culture of learning.