Education in South Africa Governance
Education in South Africa is governed by two national departments – the Department of Basic Education (DBE) which is responsible for primary and secondary schools, and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) which is responsible for tertiary education and vocational training. Prior to 2009, the national’s Department of Education held full responsibility on the education in South Africa.
Each and every province in South Africa also has education departments that hold responsibilities in implementing the policies of the national department as well as dealing with local issues.
Government sees the youth as the future leaders of the country. There are far more prospective workers than there are jobs available for them, and many youth are not able to afford higher educations and become more specialised. Therefore, the government of South Africa has decided to develop the young generation as it will assist in stabilizing the economy while aiding in delivering a skilled workforce within the country. A skills revolution took place after experts put forward their ideas in 1996 on the need of change in the South African education. As the result, the government sparked an idea of initiating skills development as it is an approach to develop the skills of human resource of the South African workforce, improve the workers’ quality of life and their prospects of work and labour mobility.
Skills Development in South Africa in governed under the Skills Development Act 97 of 1998, which has subsequently been amended a numerous times. All trainings on higher education and skills development in South Africa are the responsibilities of the national government’s Department of Higher Education and Training. Education and skills development trainings in South Africa vary into learnerships and apprenticeships.
Government Learnerships for Matriculants
Learnership programmes provide practical and theoretical experience in the world of employment. These programmes are based on the scarce skills shortages within South Africa. With the completion of their learnerships, some participants may be offered a permanent position, while others will step out armed with skills and experience, enough to enter the workforce in other sectors of the country.
Government Departments that Offer Learnerships
There are numerous government departments that offer great opportunities in learnership programmes for matriculants. Here is a list of such departments:
- Department of Transport Learnerships
The transport department of South Africa is in charge of maintenance, construction and development of national roads, marine transport, international airports and national airports, as well as all local roads and railways all around the country. It is also accountable for protocols of freight, shipping, public transport, motor vehicles and rail transportation, and hold a shared obligation for public transport, traffic regulations, vehicle licensing, parking, traffic and airports.
- Department of Tourism Learnerships
The Department of Tourism in South Africa aims to lead sustainable tourism development for the country’s inclusive economic growth through good corporate and cooperative governance, strategic partnerships and collaboration, innovation and knowledge management, and effective stakeholder communication.
- Department of Basic Education Learnerships
The DBE deals with all schools from Grade R to Grade 12, including adult literacy programmes. This department aims to develop, maintain and support a South African school education system. The DBE’s goal is to make all the people of South Africa have access to lifelong learning, education and training opportunities, which will, in turn, contribute towards improving the quality of life and building a peaceful, prosperous and democratic South Africa.
- Department of Higher Education and Training Learnerships
The South Africa’s Department of Higher Education and Training is mandated to work on skills development which was previously resided in the Department of Labour. This new department focuses on post-school education and system that allows South Africans to access relevant post-school education and training, in order to fulfil the economic and social goals of participation in an inclusive economy and society,
- Department of Labour Learnerships
The Department of Labour in South Africa plays a significant role in reducing unemployment, poverty and inequality through a set of policies and programmes developed in consultation with social partners. It aims to improve economic efficiency and productivity, creating employments, sound labour relations, eliminate inequality and discrimination in the workplace, and to alleviate poverty in employment. The department strives for a labour market that is conducive to investment, economic growth, employment creation and decent work.
- Department of Public Works Learnerships
The South Africa’s National Department of Public Works is committed to facilitating delivery by other departments by providing accommodation and property management services and meeting the objectives of poverty alleviation and transformation. The department is mandated to be the custodian and manager of all national governments’ fixed assets, for which other legislation does not make another department or institution responsible.
- Department of Health Learnerships (Kwazulu Natal, North West, Polokwane)
The South Africa’s health department’s responsibility is to provide assistance to all citizens to live a long and healthy life. The department aims to not only educate the workforce within the medical industry but also the public in leading healthy lives. They aim at preventing and fighting diseases with proper access, efficiency, quality and equity delivered to all communities.
- Department of Home Affairs Learnerships
The Department of Home Affairs in South Africa has responsibility in managing the population, including certain services related to the birth, death and marriage records. The department is also responsible for taking care of foreigners or tourists in the country, specifically related to the passport and other administration matters.
Requirements for Government Learnerships
The South African government provides a wide field of career options as each government department has different opportunities. As housing is not offered with learnerships, candidates are urged to apply for positions within the area they live.
Before applying for a Government Learnership programme, it is a must that applicants ensure they meet the requirements to apply. People with a disability are all welcome to apply. The basic requirements may include the following:
- Only applicants of age 18 to 35 may apply for the learnerships
- Only South African permanent residence and citizens are eligible to apply. A certified copy of ID and proof of address no older than three months are required.
- Applicants must hold a valid Matric certification
- Applicants much be proficient in English – in reading, writing and speaking
- Other certified copies of relevant certificates must be submitted along with the application form and other supporting documents.
- Detailed Curriculum Vitae with contact details, contactable references and any other necessary information related to the application must be submitted as a supporting document to the application form.
- Candidates with a disability are welcome to apply to any Governmental Department by adding a medical certificate confirming the nature of the disability, to the supporting documents for application.
- Applicants are only allowed to apply for one position in one governmental department and are not allowed to participate in any other learnership programmes from other institutions.
- Applicants must not be employed at the time they apply and throughout the entire process of the learnership.
Note: Some departments might request specific requirements. Please visit the vacancies page on the department’s website for more information on the matter.
How to Apply for the Government Learnerships
Most government departments require that candidates complete a Z83 application form which can be downloaded from the departments’ websites or may be collected from the department’s office or any other Government Department. Candidates must ensure all documentation is certified before submitting the application form.
Applications must be sent or delivered by hand to the department’s office. Any application sent by e-mail, registered mail or fax will not be accepted.
Government Learnerships Application Closing Date
Closing dates for the learnership programmes in each department may vary.
Please visit the related department’s official website for more information on the department itself and/or for updates on the learnership programmes provided.