ABET learnerships offer many advantages

ABET learnerships offer many advantages. Individuals who participate in ABET learnerships learn basic English literacy and numeracy skills while working for a company. They, therefore, also have the opportunity to gain important practical work experience during the duration of the basic English literacy and numeracy training. Many of these learners secure long-term employment with the company where they have completed the ABET learnership. This is considering the valuable work experience and the important English literacy and numeracy skills that they have obtained. Notably, this experience is also company specific and not only related to particular industries and trades. This means that these individuals have a head start. They are thus able to add a lot of value immediately after being appointed as permanent members of your team.

The workplace experience and English literacy and numeracy skills that that they have obtained will also enable them to compete effectively in the job market. This is if they are not recruited on a permanent basis by the company where they completed their ABET learnership. An ABET learnership leads to a nationally recognised qualification. ABET Level 4 is equivalent to a National Qualifications Framework Level 1. ABET Level 4 is, therefore, a solid foundation upon which individuals are also able to develop their English literacy and numeracy, as well as other skills.

ABET learnerships provide fixed-term employment

ABET learnerships also provide a fixed-term employment contract for the entire duration of the adult English literacy and numeracy training. Individuals, thus, earn an allowance that helps them to sustain themselves while they learn. This overcomes a significant barrier for adults who want to complete their education but also need to work to sustain themselves and their families. However, existing low skilled employees can also complete an ABET learnership. The only difference is that they already earn a wage for the work that they perform at your company while they learn basic English literacy and numeracy. These skills will significantly improve their performance in the workplace. It complements the work experience that they continue to gain as members of your team. English literacy and numeracy are the absolute basic skills that people need to function effectively in all aspects of life, including in the world of work. Employees also need English literacy and numeracy skills to continue learning in the workplace. This is so that they can add even more value to your company, while also improving their earning potential and rank.

ABET learnerships are important

ABET learnerships are important for many reasons. Firstly, they enable individuals to access education and training and acquire basic English literacy and numeracy skills. This is especially important in a country where functional illiteracy levels are very high. It is being exacerbated by the worrying state of our basic education system. According to the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study or PIRLS, 78% of Grade Four learners in South Africa cannot read for basic meaning in any of the many official languages of the country. This is a significant socio-economic crisis. The next generation of South Africans will not have the basic English literacy and numeracy skills that they need to escape poverty. An entire generation will also not be able to learn, teach and lead. These individuals will be shut out of a modern economy that is increasingly relying on advanced skills. English literacy and numeracy are the absolute basic skills that companies need. Notably, these illiterate individuals will also not be able to pass literacy onto their children. This fuels the cycle of illiteracy from one generation to the next. For more information on PIRLS, refer to https://www.iea.nl. In 2019, the South African illiteracy rate was 12%. The vast majority of individuals who do not possess English literacy and numeracy skills are of working age. Certainly, this also motivates the need for ABET learnerships for existing employees. For further reading on this topic, refer to Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Coordination PDF.

ABET learnerships address unemployment

ABET learnerships are also intended to address high levels of unemployment in the country. South Africa’s unemployment rate currently stands at 34,5%. Worryingly, the vast majority of jobless South Africans consist of young adults and women. ABET learnerships also aim to make a substantial contribution to economic transformation. ABET learnerships achieve this by addressing the effects of race, gender and geographical location on educational advancement. For more reading on how skills development contributes to structural transformation and economic growth, refer to https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/skillsdevelopment. It is for this reason that skills development is given utmost priority by the Broad-Based Back Economic Empowerment Codes of Good Practice. Importantly, ABET learnerships also help industry address skills shortages.

ABET learnerships transform skills development

ABET learnerships have transformed skills development in the country. This is by providing a direct connection between theoretical instruction and the actual English literacy and numeracy skills required in the workplace. There is currently a major divide between the English literacy and, especially, numeracy skills taught at school and those that are actually needed in the workplace. Individuals who have completed ABET learnerships are functionally literate. They are, therefore, able to use their English literacy and numeracy skills in all facets of life. This includes in the workplace. For this reason, functional literacy is often also referred to as workplace literacy.

Equipped with English literacy skills, employees are able to communicate efficiently in the written and spoken word. Moreover, they can read and write and are active listeners. Importantly, they are also exposed to industry and trade specific terminology during the ABET learnership. These are English words that they use regularly when performing work in specific industries or trades. Equipping learners with basic numeracy skills enables them to think critically and logically. This ability also enables them to solve specific problems that they may encounter when performing their respective duties.

For example, employees may have to undertake an array of measurements ranging from rudimentary through to the more sophisticated. Performing these may require using a variety of different measuring tools and instruments. Individuals will also learn about and how to work with them as part of their ABET learnership.

ABET learnerships benefit employers

ABET learnerships benefit employers in many ways. ABET learnerships make a substantial contribution to your Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment or “B-BBEE” scorecard. You can claim points towards your B-BBEE scorecard if you invest of your payroll on skills development. Companies can earn more points if a percentage of the workforce consists of unemployed black learners. Bear in mind the vast majority of young previously marginalised citizens of the country who are unemployed and trapped in poverty due to the lasting legacy of a previous system. Therefore, if learners are employed permanently after they have completed the ABET learnership, you can claim additional points.

Companies that invest in learnerships also benefit from rebates, grants and reimbursements. A case in point is the reimbursement that you can claim on your Skills Development Levy or “SDL” spend. This is if you pay your SDL to the South African Revenue Services; register with the relevant Sector Education and Training Authority; and submit your Workplace Skills Plan and Annual Tax Return. In turn, the reimbursements can be used to pay for training, including ABET learnerships. Meanwhile, the Employment Tax Incentive or “ETI” is a further mechanism that encourages employers to hire young unemployed South Africans. An ETI can be claimed by employers on a monthly basis for employees of between the ages of 18 and 29 who are completing ABET learnerships.

ABET learnerships upskill your staff

ABET learnerships upskill your staff. This is the most important benefit of an ABET learnership. You are equipping your employees with the basic skills that they need to be more productive, efficient and accurate, while also being able to perform their jobs in a healthy and safe manner. Moreover, the skills that they obtain from participating in an ABET learnership contribute to their communities and society at large. 


Triple E Training is a leading provider of ABET learnerships. Learn more about the company and its quality adult English literacy and numeracy training programmes. www.eee.co.za.

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