The South African government notice, referenced below, conveys the Minister of Higher Education and Training intention to repeal the Learnership Regulations (published in Government Notice R 519 in Government Gazette No 30010 dated 29 June 2007) and makes available Learning Programme Regulations—under the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No. 97 of 1998)—for public comment a 30 day period that ended 5 August 2012.
The notice defines a "learning programme agreement" to mean an agreement as intended in the regulations. The notice further specifies and defines, among others, the following:
- Candidacy—meaning “the practical and work experience training that is an occupational qualification as determined by the relevant professional body and follows the completion of an academic qualification required for access to the assessment for the issuing of a professional designation. This learning must lead to the issuing of a designation registered on the NQF” (emphasis added).
- Internship—meaning “the structured work experience component of an occupational qualification registered by the” Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) as contemplated in Section 26G of the Skills Development Act.
- Learner—meaning “the learning party to a learning programme agreement, who is enrolled in a registered learning programme that has a curriculum registered with QCTO and includes [the] Iearner contemplated in both section 18( 1) and section 18(2 )of the Act” (emphasis added).
- Learnership—meaning “a learning programme that leads to an occupational qualification or part qualification and includes an apprenticeship and cadetship”
- Placement—meaning “a learner is placed in a workplace to complete part of an internship”
- Structured learning component—includes both “the knowledge and practical curriculum components of an occupational qualification” and the structured work experience component "means the workplace curriculum components of an occupational qualification” (emphasis added).
- Successful completion—meaning that “the Iearner has successfully completed the learning programme and has been declared competent”.
- Termination—means “the cancellation or dissolution of a learning programme agreement before one or more of the components of the learning programme agreement have been successfully completed”.
- Work integrated learning—“means a process that formally integrates a student's academic qualification or part qualification with work experience in participating employer organisations” (emphasis added).
The definitions quoted above are in need of some editing, because the way they are currently stated excludes—probably unintentionally—certain types, for example, the definition of a learner by implication excludes higher education qualifications.[The Directorate: SETA Support and Learnerships of the South African national Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) advised that the regulations are not finalized yet, the staff are still busy with the consolidation of public comments. As soon as the revised regulations are approved by the Minister, theywill then be publish in a gazette and also on the DHET website.]
Chapter 2 deals with the registration and management of learning programme agreements; chapter 3 with disputes; and chapter 4 with administrative provisions. Annexure A1 (pp. 12-20) reflects the full Learning Programme Agreement (excluding Skills Programmes) and annexure A2 the agreement for skills programmes.
Republic of South Africa. 2012. Department of Higher Education and Training. Government Gazette, Skills Development Act: Regulations: Learning Programme: Draft, (G 35489, General Notice 545), 5 July. Electronically available from http://www.info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=169917 and/or http://www.dhet.gov.za/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=RY4DaZ62eQU%3d&tabid=346&mid=1415