Unpack the difference between Skills Programmes and Learnerships

In the ever changing landscape of corporate South Africa, investing in skills development is not only a strategic choice but also an avenue for reaping substantial rewards. Skills programmes and Learnerships, apart from fostering a skilled workforce, offer significant tax incentives and BEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment) points. In this article, we’ll explore how organisations can harness these initiatives to their advantage.

Skills Programmes unpacked:

Customised Skill Enhancement

Skills programmes are versatile tools that allow organisations to tailor training to their specific needs. By identifying skills gaps within your workforce and developing targeted programmes, you can significantly enhance employee competencies.

Flexibility in Training Durations

Skills programmes offer shorter training durations, making it easier for employees to balance work and learning. This flexibility ensures minimal disruption to operations while optimising the development of essential skills.

Maximising BEE Points

Implementing skills programmes contributes to BEE scorecard points, which is crucial for improving your BEE rating. Depending on the number of previously disadvantaged learners participating and the duration of the programme, you can earn valuable points towards Skills Development and Socio-Economic Development.


Skills programmes often come at a lower cost compared to Learnerships. This cost-effectiveness means you can allocate your budget to training a more extensive group of employees, maximising the impact on your BEE scorecard.

Learnerships unpacked:

Structured Learning and Qualifications

Learnerships are formal training programs that combine theory and practical experience. Completing a Learnership results in a nationally recognised qualification. This not only enhances employee skills but also contributes to your BEE credentials.

Tax Incentives

Employers embarking on Learnerships can benefit from substantial tax incentives. The Skills Development Levy paid to SARS can be reclaimed, and additional tax deductions can be claimed for each learner enrolled in a Learnership.

Enhanced BEE Ratings

Learnerships carry significant BEE weight. Organisations can earn maximum points on the Skills Development element of the BEE scorecard by achieving 6% of their total employee headcount participating in accredited Learnerships.

Youth Employment and Development

Learnerships contribute to youth employment and development, aligning with BEE objectives. Employing young previously disadvantaged learners in Learnerships bolsters your organisation’s transformation initiatives.

Selecting the Right Path:

When considering skills programmes and Learnerships for tax benefits and BEE points, organisations should:

Identify Skills Gaps: Conduct a skills audit to pinpoint areas where training can have the most impact.

Align with BEE Goals: Determine how your chosen initiative aligns with BEE targets and objectives, maximising the potential BEE points earned.

Evaluate Costs and Benefits: Weigh the costs of the programme against the tax benefits and BEE points earned to ensure a favourable return on investment.

In conclusion, skills programmes and Learnerships offer compelling opportunities for organisations to simultaneously enhance their workforce, gain tax benefits, and improve their BEE standings. By strategically planning and implementing these initiatives, businesses can foster growth, development, and transformation while reaping the associated rewards.

A connected ecosystem that offers abundant opportunities for learners to reach their maximum potential.

Quick Links
Contact Us