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MANAGING LEARNERSHIPS/APPRENTICESHIPS IN THE HAIRDRESSING, COSMETOLOGY, AND BEAUTY INDUSTRY


The hairdressing and beauty industry in South Africa is dynamic and diverse, offering numerous career opportunities. For employers in this sector, effectively navigating the legal landscape when implementing learnerships/apprenticeships is essential. This article explores key aspects of compliance, focusing on how the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) governs learnership implementation and the importance of the compliance checklist. For additional information on understanding learnerships and apprenticeships, please contact your EOHCB representative.


Learnerships Defined:

Learnerships are structured work-based learning programs that lead to an NQF-registered qualification. These programs are related to specific occupations or fields, such as electrical engineering, hairdressing, or project management. Managed by Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), learnerships combine theoretical and practical learning to develop practical skills, typically culminating in a trade/occupational qualification. A learner/apprenticeship contract is a critical component of these programs.


Legal Framework

The Skills Development Act (SDA) governs learnerships, ensuring they provide structured and quality education. Employers must comply with the Labour Relations Act (LRA) and the BCEA when implementing learnerships. Schedule 2 of the LRA outlines the requirements for fixed-term contracts, including learnerships.


Key Compliance Points:


Contract Duration:

  • Learnership contracts must specify the duration, aligning with the qualification period.

  • Fixed-term contracts must adhere to the provisions of the LRA.


Remuneration and Benefits:

  • Learners are entitled to stipends or allowances according to legal requirements.

  • Benefits such as UIF registration must be provided to learners.


Termination:

  • Employers must follow proper procedures for contract termination.

  • Compliance with BCEA provisions ensures fair treatment of learners.


Compliance Checklist


Registration:

  • Register learnerships/apprenticeships with the relevant SETA to obtain a unique reference number.


Training Plan:

  • Develop a comprehensive training plan that aligns with the qualification framework, incorporating both theoretical and practical components.


Workplace Mentorship:

  • Appoint a skilled mentor for each learner or apprentice to monitor progress and provide guidance.


Record Keeping:

  • Maintain accurate records of attendance, assessments, and progress, and submit required reports to SETA.


Remuneration and Benefits:

  • Pay stipends or allowances as per legal requirements and provide necessary benefits, including UIF registration.


The Role of EOHCB

The Employers’ Organisation for Hairdressing, Cosmetology, and Beauty (EOHCB) plays a vital role in promoting industry standards. Employers should engage with the EOHCB for guidance, updates, and compliance support to ensure they meet all legal requirements and maintain high standards.


By adhering to relevant legislation, creating a supportive learning environment, and collaborating with industry bodies like the EOHCB, employers can successfully manage learnerships/apprenticeships. Compliance not only ensures a skilled workforce but also contributes to the industry's growth and sustainability. Effective management of learnerships/apprenticeships is integral to the development and success of the hairdressing and beauty industry.



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