Leadership, Tax Skills and Development Incentives

Automotive artisans are a scarce critical resource, and the South African panel-beating industry are increasingly squabbling over qualified staff, due to the shortage of qualified spray-painters and panel-beaters. "MerSETA is well aware of the need for coherence and articulation in its qualifications framework, including the integration of theory and practice (apprenticeships, learner-ships and candidacies which fall under workplace education), access, career mapping and pathways. Understanding the realities, demands and challenges of the labour market and knowledge of the economy are crucial to success".
Dr David Patel - Chief Executive Officer – MerSETA/Automobil September 2012

We have included guidelines and necessary documentation on how to start the process of training apprentices within your business. This in the long run will benefit you as well as the industry as a whole.

There are also tax rebates that can be claimed back from SARS, for those involved in training within the workplace.


  1. A learnership is a structured learning process for gaining theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the workplace leading to a qualification registered on the NQF.
  2. A learnership is outcomes-based and not time-based and allows for recognition of prior learning. Learnership duration varies but the average is about 18 months.

Note: In practice, to attain an artisan equivalent qualification (NQF level 4) four separate learnerships will have to be completed (i.e. qualifications at NQF levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 will have to be attained).


  1. Learners may be existing employees or new entrants.
  2. Learners must meet the entry requirements for the particular learnership as determined by the qualification requirements on which the learnership is based and learners must meet the selection criteria determined by the organisation taking on the learner.


  1. Employers are workplace approved and are required to meet the pre registration criteria.
  2. Training providers are accredited to provide the chosen learnership by the MERSETA ETQA.
  3. Qualified assessors are available (either in-house or contracted in).

Learner is selected

  1. Learnership agreement is signed between the employer, provider and learner (tripartite agreement).
  2. Short-term employment contract is signed between the employer and the learner if the learner is unemployed.
  3. The learning programme and process is discussed and agreed to with the provider.
  4. Employer funds the learnership, through grants obtained from the MERSETA.
  5. Employer and provider provide relevant learning and experience, working closely to manage the learnership process.
  6. Learner is provided with support through mentoring and feedback.
  7. Learner is assessed by a qualified assessor (formative and summative assessments).
  8. Assessments are submitted to the MERSETA ETQA by the provider.
  9. On successful completion of the learnership, a national qualification is awarded to the learner.
  10. Learner receive a statement of results for unit standards achieved if learnership is not successfully completed.
  11. Once the learnership is completed, the employer can decide whether to sign the learner on for a new learnership, employ the learner or release the learner for future employment by another organization, if he/she was originally unemployed.

Trainee Remuneration

  1. The unemployed / pre-employed learner is paid an allowance. The minimum allowances for learners are regulated.
  2. The employed learner continues to receive his/her current salary.

Grants from MERSETA

  1. Contact the Merseta regional office for details on discretionary grants or visit the Merseta website at : www.merseta.org.za.