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Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No. 97 of 1998)

Chapter 4 : Learnerships

17. Learnership agreements


(1) For the purposes of this Chapter, a "learnership agreement" means an agreement entered into for a specified period between—
(a) a learner;
(b) an employer or a group of employers (in this section referred to as "the employer"); and
(c) a skills development provider accredited by the QCTO or group of such skills development providers.

[Section 17(1) amended by section 7(a) of Act No. 37 of 2008]


(2) The terms of a learnership agreement must oblige—
(a) the employer to—
(i) employ the learner for the period specified in the agreement;
(ii) provide the learner with the specified practical work experience; and
(iii) release the learner to attend the education and training specified in the agreement;
(b) the learner to—
(i) work for the employer; and
(ii) attend the specified education and training; and
(c) the skills development provider to provide—
(i) the education and training specified in the agreement; and
(ii) the learner support specified in the agreement.

[Section 17(2) amended by section 7(b) of Act No. 37 of 2008]


(3) A learnership agreement must be in the prescribed form and registered with a SETA in the prescribed manner.


(4) A learnership agreement may not be terminated before the expiry of the period of duration specified in the agreement unless—
(a) the learner meets the requirements for the successful completion of the learnership;
(b) the SETA which registered the agreement approves of such termination; or
(c) the learner is fairly dismissed for a reason related to the learner's conduct or capacity as an employee.


(5) The employer or skills development provider that is party to a learnership agreement may be substituted with—
(a) the consent of the learner; and
(b) the approval of the SETA which registered the agreement.

[Section 17(5) amended by section 7(b) of Act No. 37 of 2008]


(6) A SETA must, in the prescribed manner, provide the Director-General with a record of learnership agreements registered by the SETA.


(7) The Minister may make regulations—
(a) permitting an employer to enter into an agreement with an agency to perform the employer’s obligations and exercise the employer’s rights in respect of a learnership agreement or, in respect of a learner contemplated in section 18(2), a contract of employment;

[Section 17(7)(a) amended by section 7(c) of Act No. 37 of 2008]

(b) prescribing the relationship between the employer and the agency contemplated in paragraph (a);
(c) prescribing the requirements for registering an agency contemplated in paragraph (a); and

[Section 17(7)(c) inserted by section 7(d) of Act No. 37 of 2008]

(d) making it an offence to operate an agency contemplated in paragraph (a) except in accordance with such regulations.

[Section 17(7) inserted by section 12 of Act No. 31 of 2003]