Wholesale and Retail Learnerships by W&RSETA
The Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA), which has been operating in terms of the Skills Development Act for more than 14 years, implements strategies for national development in the huge wholesale and retail sector.
One of it’s most important roles is to initiate learnerships that enable “learners” to improve their knowledge, skills and ability in their chosen career. Learnerships also enable students to get a formal qualification that will enable them to get into the wholesale and retail industry quicker and more easily.
There is absolutely no doubt that people who take this route get increased employment opportunities once they have qualified. It is also an excellent route for learners who are already employed, but who are earning low wages because they do not have a proper qualification or the necessary experience to get ahead.
One of the most valuable aspects, as the W&RSETA points out, is that students are able to learn while they earn.
Benefits of Learnerships for Employers
Committed employers in the W&R sector agree that a learnership – which is essentially a “work-based education and training programme” linked to a valid registered National Qualifications Framework (NQF) qualification – is one of the best ways to facilitate empowerment of employees. It is also a brilliant way to develop a competent staff complement within businesses, and to ensure that workers get the relevant (very specific to an individual business) skills and experience.
Since employees who are qualified and experienced need less supervision, this will also improve the quality of work within the business, as well as overall productivity.
Employers also find that this is an ideal vehicle that may be used to address their employment equity targets, as well as to identify gaps that relate to skills and training.
Benefits for the W&R Industry as a Whole
The W&RSETA identifies three primary ways that learnerships benefit the industry:
1. They help to create a pool of skill personnel that is made up of more professional people.
2. They help to provide the W&R industry with direction so that it can develop according to general world standards.
3. The result of this programme is aimed to help the industry become more competitive in the global market as a whole.
The Role of the SETA in the Learnership Programme
While the W&RSETA facilitates and implements the programme, it does not recruit learners. This is the responsibility of the various employers and service providers, as well as training providers that specialise in industry-related learning opportunities.
To assist employers, service providers and training organisations and institutions, the SETA has formed partnerships with the Department of Labour (specifically the regional offices), the Centre for Youth Development (CYD), and the South African Graduates Association (SAGA) that provide databases of unemployed people who are looking for opportunities in the industry.
How to Register?
So if you are keen to forge a career in the wholesale and retail sector, make sure you are on at least one of these databases. There is also a list of registered qualifications and learnerships that is published by the W&RSETA. Currently all registration end dates are June 30, 2015. There is a Learnership Agreement on the W&RSETA website.